Dr. Jihnhee Yu, associate professor in the department of biostatistics, and director of the Population Health Observatory at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, received funding to study secure ways of handling trauma data at a Buffalo-based hospital.
[Photo: Dr. Jihnhee Yu]
The Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMC) awarded Dr. Yu $116,998 for the project titled, “Umbrella proposal for secure and confidential handling of the ECMC trauma registry data.” The primary objective of the project is to use the ECMC trauma registry data for trauma care research including monitoring the care delivered to victims of trauma. The project is a collaboration between the UB Population Health Observatory, the UB department of biostatistics and the UB department of surgery.
Trauma registries are databases storing information relevant to the acute phase of hospital care delivered to victims of trauma and providing the information for the improvement of efficiency of the trauma treatment. For the hospital phase of care, registries provide particularly rich clinical information, absent from hospital administrative databases and are therefore often used to evaluate the efficacy of new interventions.
The use of databases involved maintaining and updating information for research purposes. The advantage to researchers is that by maintaining and using a research database they can have controlled access to and use of relevant data.
For this particular project, the scope included receiving and maintaining data, including protected health information for the future research and production of de-identified data sets; development of individual existing-data review protocols; and provision of general biostatistical expertise for the trauma registry related research. “Injuries are one of the most common causes of death for people as well as causing a financial difficulty,” stated Dr. Yu. “The registry data has enough information for the research to help towards the goal of care improvement. The research activities that can be assisted by the registry data include but are not limited to hypotheses generating, protocol developments and monitoring the effectiveness of interventions. One important part of trauma care evaluation is considering the different risk factors.”
Dr. Yu is collaborating on this project with other researchers at the UB Population Health Observatory, including biostatistician Dr. Kabir Jalal, data manager Ms. Amy Barczykowski, and graduate student Ms. Mingmei Tian.
The University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP) offers undergraduate and graduate degree level programs and is the home to five departments; biostatistics, community health and health behavior, exercise and nutrition sciences, epidemiology and environmental health and rehabilitation science. It is one of only a few schools across the country that includes health-related professions as an integral component of the public health educational and research system. SPHHP is located on the South Campus of University at Buffalo in Kimball Tower.