Montefiore Medical Center creates 'breakthrough' research software

By Bernie Monegain
10:20 AM

Clinical research that used to take months now takes minutes at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, thanks to new software that accesses data in electronic medical records.

Studies that required a committee of physicians and data experts and an elaborate research review process are now performed by a single clinician in a matter of minutes using Clinical Looking Glass, or CLG.

"This remarkable software taps into the large pool of electronic medical record (EMR) data collected here over the past decade," said Steven Safyer, MD, president and CEO of Montefiore. "While EMRs have the ability to improve quality and reduce costs for single patients, CLG interprets this data for entire patient populations so that we can rapidly check the collective effectiveness of patient safety measures, conduct clinical research and even comply with federal regulations.  We believe it offers a glimpse into how healthcare informatics is shaping the future of medicine."
More than 700 physicians at Montefiore have taken a three-hour training session to learn how to apply CLG, which has been used to measure the impact of Medicare regulations on rehabilitation patients, quantify the reduction in radiation exposure for emergency department patients, provide data for professional articles on embolisms and hospitalists (hospital-based physicians) and check on a public health threat.

With clinicians conducting 2,800 inquiries every month, CLG has become an integral part of the culture of healthcare delivery at Montefiore, say hospital executives. Because the analyses can be run without identifying the names of the patients, exploratory questions can be undertaken while protecting privacy.

"The goal of these analytics is to gather information and conduct studies that lead to better clinical decision-making," said Eran Bellin, MD, vice president for clinical IT research and development at Montefiore, who was instrumental in designing CLG. "The queries have provided the quantitative evidence for dozens of peer-review journal articles, presentations at professional meetings, institution-wide patient quality improvement initiatives and programs that benefit entire populations."     

CLG, which was developed at Montefiore, is also being used by the New York City Department of Health in research studies and is being considered for use by the healthcare system of the Department of Defense.

Montefiore is the teaching hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.