Weill Cornell Medical College creates center for informatics, policy

By Bernie Monegain
07:47 AM

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University’s medical school, has established the Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy to improve health and healthcare through informatics and technology.

Weill Cornell officials envision the new center as fostering collaboration among a team of faculty from multiple departments to address issues at the intersection of healthcare informatics and healthcare policy.

"We are facing a watershed moment in healthcare delivery in the U.S., and it is more important than ever to study the innovative ways in which we can transform its practice and delivery," says Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, dean of Weill Cornell Medical College. "The vital work of the Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy will foster growth and effective use of technology, buttressing the healthcare industry for decades to come."

The center's executive director is Rainu Kaushal, MD, professor of medical informatics and chief of the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics at Weill Cornell.

"Through collaborative efforts, the Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy conducts research and offers services and programs that drive innovation, educate and provide critical insights into how technology applications, solutions and devices can improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare," says Kaushal, who is also executive director of the Health Information Technology Evaluation Collaborative (HITEC) for New York State and director of Pediatric Quality and Patient Safety at the Komansky Center for Children's Health at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

The center comprises members and affiliates from various departments, including pediatrics, public health, medicine, radiology, pathology and urology. They have expertise in informatics, clinical medicine, health services research, biostatistics, public health, healthcare policy, healthcare analytics, computer science, economics and decision science. Together they pursue the center's mission to improve health and healthcare through research, education, service and innovation.

Goals for the center are:

  • Research: The center conducts cutting-edge interdisciplinary research at the intersection of healthcare informatics and policy, focusing on the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and comparative effectiveness of a variety of healthcare interventions. Researchers measure the effects of health information technology related outcomes on such outcomes as clinical quality and safety, economic value, technology adoption, consumer satisfaction and provider experiences. The center's health services research portfolio includes large-scale evaluation of transformative efforts and payment reform in healthcare such as patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations and bundled payments.
  • Education: The center offers state-of-the-art education. Its two-year Fellowship in Healthcare Quality and Medical Informatics Research training program provides an in-depth educational experience in health services research and informatics methods through classes and mentored research projects. The center also offers the Health IT Certificate Program, a five-month executive-format program emphasizing pragmatic training to address the technical, legal, social, financial, and clinical environment surrounding implementation of electronic health records systems.
  • Service: The center provides expert services for community organizations, state and government health plans, physician organizations, hospitals, and information technology vendors in quality and process improvement, healthcare analytics and healthcare transformation.
  • Innovation: The center brings together experts from multiple disciplines to develop and evaluate innovations that improve healthcare, such as mobile devices, novel graphical interfaces and natural language processing.