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Enterprise-wide Electronic Health Record system (EHR)
Photo by Robert A. Lisak
Joint Data Analytics Team (JDAT)

Yale is harnessing the power of ever-increasing amounts of digital health data via Epic, an enterprise-wide electronic health record (EHR) that contains millions of unique patient records.

The Help Us Discover tab in MyChart, Epic’s patient portal, includes is a powerful tool for connecting potential subjects to clinical trials. This feature includes a categorized listing of all clinical trials at Yale that are open to new accruals, as well as the ability for patients to build and submit their personalized clinical trials profiles. The portal operates in conjunction with, Yale’s clinical trial website for patients. MyHealth, a component of MyChart, is a patient education section that will contain information and links to relevant clinical trials specifically targeted to the patient’s health issues.

Led by Allen Hsiao, MD, chief medical information officer for the School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Health System and associate professor of pediatrics (emergency medicine) and of emergency medicine, the Yale IT team provides enterprise-wide access to patient data and enabling cutting-edge research that spans the T1 through T4 spectrum. The recently adopted Opt-Out policy allows EHR data from across the health system to be used for research unless the patient opts out, giving researchers unprecedented access to the wealth of data available within the system.

“Our ability to provide the highest quality clinical care is intertwined with our ability to conduct research,” said Paul Taheri, MD, MBA, CEO of Yale Medical Group and Deputy Dean for Clinical Affairs. “Epic plays an important role in both and we are continually seeking ways to harness what it has to offer.”

The Joint Data Analytics Team (JDAT) handles clinical and research analytics and reporting across the health system and the School of Medicine. Comprised of more than 60 informaticists and analysts located in a single location, JDAT centralizes and coordinates all data analytics and supports Helix, Yale’s customized data warehouse system. The JDAT team navigates the complicated back end of where to find the data, does all of the reporting, analytics and dashboards, and works with Epic to refine and develop Helix.

On the clinical side, the JDAT team is focused on improving patient care and safety by identifying variations in care and understanding how they occurred. On the research side, there is a dedicated group that handles research requests. Since JDAT handles all requests for data and there’s a single pipeline and set of protocols that are followed before data is released, the process is transparent.

Having such a system in place enhances the team’s ability to handle an increasing number of data requests. The research team is able to leverage the resources of JDAT – including other JDAT staff members - and turn around requests very quickly.