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Cerner Partners with UMKC, Truman on Big Data Initiative

February 19, 2015
by David Raths
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UMKC researchers to analyze local health in the context of national data

The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Center for Health Insights and its clinical partner, Truman Medical Centers, have announced a collaboration to conduct research using Cerner Corp.’s Health Facts de-identified real-world data.

Access to the Health Facts database will allow UMKC researchers to analyze local health in the context of national data. This analysis can inform decisions that support improved care, reduced health disparities and lower costs.

The researchers will combine i2b2 — Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside, funded by the National Institutes of Health — and Cerner’s Health Facts.

North Kansas City-headquartered Cerner’s Health Facts database captures and stores de-identified, longitudinal electronic health record (EHR) patient data, and then aggregates and organizes it into consumable data sets to facilitate analysis and reporting, according to a description on the Bridge to Data web site. The data are generated from Cerner and non-Cerner participating contributing facilities. 

“Health Facts collects clinical records with time-stamped and sequenced information on pharmacy, laboratory, admission and billing data from all patient care locations,” the report notes. “The database is designed to track a drug's or device's usage across diagnoses and major procedures, as well as by geographic region and hospital type. Additionally, a researcher can determine practice patterns, treatments, and outcomes.”

Mark Hoffman, Ph.D., director of the Center for Health Insights at UMKC, previously spent 16 years leading genomics, public health and research initiatives at Cerner, where he was a vice president. “I am thrilled that the Center for Health Insights can foster new collaborations between UMKC, Truman Medical Centers and Cerner,” he said in a prepared statement. “There is much more that these organizations can do together to promote research and help improve patient care in Kansas City.”

“Cerner’s mission is to contribute to the systematic improvement of health care delivery and the health of communities,” said Matthew Swindells, Cerner senior vice president for population health and global strategy, in a statement. “We’re excited to work with two excellent academic and clinical institutions like Truman Medical Centers and UMKC to help make that mission a reality and contribute to improving the health of the people of Kansas City.”