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Cancer Center Informatics performs two broad classifications of work: infrastructure projects that benefit the entire cancer center (or even the whole health system), and custom development projects focused on the needs of a specific group.

Custom Development

Business analysis and / or software development tailored for a specific customer's needs.

  • CCI lead an analysis project to simplify the workflow of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Group by picking an appropriate third-party tool. CCI's RFP sought solutions for several issues, including duplicate data entry between CIBMTR and Velos, cumbersome reporting, and billing reconciliation.

  • Cancer Center Informatics facilitated the Cancer Genetics Network data migration from BioDBx into OpenClinica. The process included extracting and validating data from BioDBx as well as handling the migration. The project included building a custom application to manage families in OpenClinica, including searching and creation, as well as building an infrastructure for pre-built and ad-hoc reporting.

  • Using OpenClinica, Cancer Center Informatics assisted the Gastrointestinal Oncology group with building an operational database for tracking the clinical history of pancreatic cancer patients. Custom work done in OpenClinica included an eResearch connection for looking up IRBs, integration with a pedigree rendering tool, and server-side lists.

  • Cancer Center Informatics helped the Thoracic Surgery department move their database of lung resections, esophagectomies, and hiatal hernia repairs from an Oracle Forms application into OpenClinica. Custom work done for OpenClinica included the full extract-transform-load process for migrating the data, implementation of dynamic fields for patient demographic details, and client-side calculations for cancer staging, BMI, quality measures, and others.

  • Cancer Center Informatics designed the Chemotracker tool to manage the workflow clinical staff use to develop and approve new chemotherapy protocols.

  • Cancer Center Informatics developed a family history survey within the open-source LimeSurvey platform to allow researchers to collect family history data in a secure and user-friendly manner.

  • LatticeGrid is a publication tracking tool originally developed by Northwestern University.  Cancer Center Informatics runs a customized instance of LatticeGrid to support the core grant renewal.

  • The Infusion Scheduling tool is designed to help clinical personnel determine the duration of chemotherapy sessions in order to help them with scheduling.

    The tool is built using components from the University of Michigan Third-Century Initiative Learning Health System.

  • EMERSE (Electronic Medical Record Search Engine) is an intuitive, powerful search engine for documents in the electronic medical record (CareWeb) including dictated and typed reports (progress notes, radiology and pathology reports, etc). It is an academic project lead by David Hanauer and managed by MCIT.

    EMERSE offers multiple options for creating complex search queries yet has an interface that is easy enough to be used by those with minimal computer experience. EMERSE is ideal for retrospective chart reviews, data abstraction, recruitment, and translational research. It is also used for quality improvement and hospital operations. In operation since 2005, EMERSE has been used for hundreds of research studies.

  • CORECT is a multi-national, multi-institutional project funded by the NCI to perform GWAS studies of colorectal cancer. Cancer Center Informatics acts as a data coordinating center, providing secure storage and distribution of genotype and phenotype data as well as helping track research proposals and sample manifests.

  • CCI performed the analysis for an application to support the Cancer Center's Tissue Processing Core.

Infrastructure Projects

Projects developed with the potential to serve the entire health system.

  • CCI helped gather requirements and launch an RFP for software to manage the Central Biorepository. After the software was chosen, CCI worked with the vendor to customize the software for the needs of UMHS and to develop the repository itself. Five pilot projects took part in the launch of the biorepository: first, the biobank itself developed its infrastructure, then the team helped build repositories for Chronic Kidney Disease, the Head and Neck SPORE, The Michigan Genomics Initiative / Analgesic Outcomes Study, and MCRU.

  • CCI recently participated in an effort to choose a new Clinical Trials Management System (CTMS) system for the University of Michigan. CCI played an instrumental role in gathering requirements, developing the RFP, and reviewing the vendor responses and stakeholder feedback.

  • The goal of the terminology services project, initiated by MSIS, is to provide a central source of UMHS-specific terms and standard mappings. CCI is helping set up the infrastructure for the terminology services and guide the discussion on implementation.

  • Cancer Center Informatics works with enterprise architects in H.I.T.S. in building and maintaining a dataset catalog for the health system. When completed, the catalog will allow researchers to search for and discover data sources from around the health system, and potentially reveal public data sources that may be of relevant interest.

  • The Cancer Registry fulfills the center's legal requirement to submit data on cancer cases to a statewide registry. In addition, the registry provides data for UMHS operations and research.

    Cancer Center Informatics is involved with the registry on several levels. Cancer Center Informatics recently helped the registry analyze their staffing levels and investigate whether technological solutions would help them manage their caseload. Currently, CCI is building a reporting platform to supply operational and research data from the registry to interested parties within the Cancer Center. For example, in order to better understand the center's patient population and catchment area, CCI helped visualize the geographic distribution of patients in the registry and draw comparisons with state cancer data.

  • The Registry CaFE (Case Finding Engine) was created to automatically search through pathology reports and determine which reports are cancer related.

    The CaFE was designed for the cancer registry team in order to achieve faster and more accurate case finding by automating the case identification process for the registrars. This tool uses a large collection of terminology to help it identify even rare cancers. It is also able to distinguish, with fairly good accuracy, between ambiguous terminology. For example "ca" can be an abbreviation for both "calcium" and "cancer". This tool can potentially be modified with custom search lists to aid in marking up any type of text to help identify cases of interest for abstracters or those performing a chart review.

  • Cancer Center Informatics developed the "Pop Core" application for data management by the Cancer Center Population Core. The application integrates survey data collected through collaboration with the Center for Health Communications Research with bio-library data on specimens collected as part of the Health System enterprise-wide scheduling system. It is used by a number of researchers to distribute surveys to patients and track survey responses.

  • The Learning Health System initiative is funded by the U/M regents to advance novel projects.  CCI contributed to the LHS science team, which looked into the metadata standards and infrastructure necessary to support a learning health system.  As part of this contribution, CCI developed a proof-of-concept service to store data and draw inferences based on published guidelines.

University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center at North Campus Research Complex
1600 Huron Parkway, Bldg 100, Rm 1004 
Mailing Address: 2800 Plymouth Rd, NCRC 100-1004
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800 

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institutes of
Health under Award Number P30CA046592. The content is solely the responsibility
of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the
National Institutes of Health.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institutes of
Health under Award Number P30CA046592 by the use of the following Cancer Center
Shared Resource(s): Biostatistics, Analytics & Bioinformatics; Flow Cytometry;
Transgenic Animal Models; Tissue and Molecular Pathology; Structure & Drug
Screening; Cell & Tissue Imaging; Experimental Irradiation; Preclinical
Imaging & Computational Analysis; Health Communications; Immune Monitoring;

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