Volume 10, Issue 2
One of the many ways the CTSC “builds research teams of the future to improve human health” is through data curation, provisioning, and analysis. Over the last few years, a small team – in collaboration with colleagues within UC Davis, across the UC system, and from the CTSA consortium – expanded the resources to support biomedical research at UC Davis.
Researchers have extensive clinical and health data available; however, simply getting access is not enough. Research teams also need to know how to evaluate the data for meaning and use it to develop information that drives knowledge-based decision making in this data-rich but information-poor environment. When clinician scientists need assistance with data – access, use of tools to characterize and generate knowledge, and analysis – the CTSC Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics teams are poised to help.
Data fluency – also known as data literacy – is the ability to collect, manage, evaluate, and apply data in a critical manner to generate information and new knowledge. Increasing data fluency empowers researchers to do more with data. Broad variation in data fluency competency exists across the research community.
The advent of COVID-19 research and associated public health ramifications dramatically accelerated production and provision of data and has become a catalyst to bring resources to curate, access, and collaborate across health and non-health research environments. As these resources proliferate, utility, access, and application remain a focus for the CTSC.
In 2018, UC Davis Health IT initiated a new research informatics capability to build a strong and sustainable collaborative environment for clinical, research, and quality impacts. The UC Davis Health Data Provisioning Core (DPC) links clinical expertise, applied informatics, and IT research engineers to advanced clinical domain capabilities.
The CTSC Biomedical Informatics team provides access to clinical and translational informatics tools, data, training, and expertise. These resources support and expand capabilities for the research community through design and analysis of clinical and integrative data-driven research.
Requiring data for research is ubiquitous. Knowing what data are needed and what to do with is priceless. Among the many resources the CTSC provides to researchers, the biostatistics service is one of the most often requested. Managed by Sandy Taylor, the CTSC Biostatistics program strengthens research plans through study design, analysis, and consultation.
We recognize that we have covered a lot of ground in this issue of the newsletter. However, there’s no need to remember all of the details.
The UC Davis IT Health Informatics team (Kent Anderson, Director; Jason Adams, Medical Director) provides a centralized resource that augments the CTSC informatics webpages. The Health Data Resources website is a compilation of the data assets, software tools, and analytics support resources available to access and facilitate the most effective use of data.
This directory provides clinicians, faculty, and staff the ability to leverage the data-rich electronic health records at UC Davis Health. Integrated clinical, financial, and operational data provide timely information that adds knowledge and identifies opportunities to improve efficiency and patient care. From raw EMR data sources to highly curated and validated datasets, the data assets go beyond making decisions about patients at the time of care to enabling deeper analyses of patient populations.
Another place to find information about health data utilization and management and many other aspects of clinical research is the CTSC Clinical Research Guidebook. Managed by the CTSC Clinical Trials Office (Kate Marusina, Director), this comprehensive online compendium details the vast array of processes, procedures, and resources for health research available at UC Davis. Please note that access to the guidebook requires a UC Davis Health login.
"A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention." - Herbert Simon