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WVCTSI, WVU Health Sciences, and WVU Medicine partner to enhance medical data in the Mountain State

As the world continues to grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, innovative and efficient biomedical research projects have become more important than ever. Critically important to this research is the availability of reliable medical data.

Seeing an opportunity to streamline the research data gathering process, the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI), West Virginia University Health Sciences, and WVU Medicine have partnered to ensure data requests at all institutions are as efficient and secure as possible.

Leveraging the strengths of the WVU Medicine enterprise analytics team and the research expertise in clinical data research, including the compliant use of clinical data residing in WVCTSI, a collaboration between the two organizations is felt to be highly synergistic. This partnership allows data requests submitted by researchers to be fulfilled as quickly as possible with the most relevant high-quality data in order to advance their studies while ensuring data security and compliance with research regulations.

“Researchers are facing increasing challenges in our digitalized, data-intensive healthcare system. We want to remove barriers and harness the power of data, analytics, and knowledge to drive improvements that can touch people's lives and overall health. To that end, we are looking to enhance analytics synergies and collaboration between the Health System and WVU Health Sciences, improve data literacy, tools, and access to data for our clinicians and researchers,” said Ilo Romero, vice president of IT and associate chief information officer at WVU Medicine.

“When people think of research, images of labs and beakers often come to mind. I don’t believe they understand just how important patient outcomes data are to biomedical research,” said Dr. Sally Hodder, WVCTSI director and associate vice president for clinical and translational research at WVU. “Relevant patient outcomes data may suggest potential treatments that can then be further studied.”

“With this partnership not only are we able to provide oversight of clinical research data and improve the response rate for data requests, but we’re also reducing redundancies in data and lowering patient data security risks,” said Wes Kimble, director of research data analytics with WVCTSI.

“The security of our patients’ data is one of our most important jobs. We want our patients to not only trust in the care they receive from our providers but to also trust that we are keeping their personal information secure. With this partnership, we can better ensure that any clinical data used to improve patient care through research is safely handled with the most up-to-date security protocols,” said Nancy Vest, associate vice president and chief data management officer with WVU Medicine.

Researchers interested in receiving data support can join WVCTSI now. WVCTSI members have access to a wide variety of data services, including data analytics and management, study design, sample size calculations, and much more.

WVCTSI Background

WVCTSI is funded by an IDeA Clinical and Translational grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (U54GM104942) to support the mission of building clinical and translational research infrastructure and capacity to impact health disparities in West Virginia.