Cleveland Clinic names first chief research information officer

As the health system's inaugural CRIO, Dr. Lara Jehi will work with IT staff, clinical researchers and others to ensure its technology infrastructure is optimized for new research innovations.

For the newly-created role of chief research information officer, Cleveland Clinic has hired one of its own physicians to lead improvement in its network infrastructure and digital deployments, optimizing its IT to enable more innovative clinical research.

Dr. Lara Jehi, who has worked as an epilepsy specialist at Cleveland Clinic for nearly 15 years, has been named to the new position. She'll be charged with establishing and running an informatics environment able to advance leading-edge biomedical research across the Cleveland Clinic organization.

In the role, Jehi will work closely with information technology, research, finance and other departments to organize and optimize the Cleveland Clinic's digital infrastructure to better support research activities and accelerate new treatments for patients.

In her long tenure advancing epilepsy research in Cleveland, Jehi helped secure major multi-institutional National Institutes of Health-funded grants focused on data science, officials there say, noting that her own algorithms for clinical decision support are being used and expanded worldwide.

As co-director of Network Capacity for the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative of Cleveland, Jehi and her team work on multi-center clinical trials through streamlined recruitment efforts, using the electronic health record. She is also the principal investigator of Cleveland Clinic's Biorepository, giving her deep expertise enterprise analytics and clinical workflow.

Jehi, who received her medical degree from American University of Beirut, has been at Cleveland Clinic since she did her residency there. She is a vice-chair of the health system's institutional review board and is professor of neurology at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.

She chairs several key commissions in the International League Against Epilepsy and the American Epilepsy Society, and has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications.

These past few months have seen several major health systems making major hires into newly-created C-suite roles.

In December, Mayo Clinic announced that it had created the role of chief digital officer, and hired Rita Khan, who most recently served as senior vice president of consumer digital at UnitedHealthcare, to the new position. (This past month, Mayo also hired longtime health IT leader Dr. John Halamka as president of Mayo Clinic Platform.)

Kaiser Permanente also inaugurated the position of chief digital officer in July 2019, hiring Prat Vemana from The Home Depot to transform online, mobile and digital experience for its members.

"As healthcare has become vastly more data-intensive, the chief research information officer role will bridge research and patient data with clinical care," said Dr. James Young, Cleveland Clinic's chief academic officer. "Dr. Jehi's expertise as both a data-based researcher and physician will provide strategic vision to leverage large clinical informatics systems to drive innovation."

"We owe our patients a healthcare system that harnesses technology, creativity and science to provide the best care of today, and develop the pioneering care of tomorrow," said Jehi. "As digital healthcare delivery matures, our team will harness Cleveland Clinic's robust health information and data sources to shape research innovation in basic and translational science, clinical research, and healthcare delivery."

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Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.


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