A new OHSU training program: NIDCR-Supported Informatics Fellowship

The Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology and School of Dentistry are pleased to announce fully funded training grants for individuals interested in pursuing oral health, dental, and/or craniofacial related informatics research.

  • Supported by a National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) Training Grant
  • Training programs for those with clinical or research backgrounds
    • Post-Doctoral Fellowship with Master’s degree
    • Pre-Doctoral training leading to  PhD
    • A new addition to a well-established OHSU Biomedical Informatics training program funded by the National Library of  Medicine (NLM)

This program provides a structured research experience with the option of course work and/or pursuit of a degree. Our goal is to prepare the fellow/ trainee to enter the academic community and become an independent researcher, or to take leadership positions in the growing number academic and/or commercial efforts in oral health informatics. Start dates include Fall 2012, Winter 2013, or Fall 2013.

For admissions information contact:

Lauren Ludwig




Report from the COHRI Summer Meeting

Hi everyone,
I would like to report about the recent COHRI Summer Meeting that was held in Boston this year—co-hosted by the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
Informational Brochure: http://dental.tufts.edu/wp-content/uploads/ce_cohri_brochure.pdf
COHRI’s site: http://cohri.org/

The Consortium for Oral Health Research & Informatics (COHRI) will:
•     Create, standardize and integrate data using electronic health records.
•     Cooperate with other health related institutions to share data.
•     Improve informatics utilization in dental education, health care, and research.
•     Work together as a consortium to develop research projects to promote evidence based dentistry.
•     Define and facilitate the implementation of best practices and standards of care.

One of COHRI’s projects is the Dental Data Repository (DDR) which houses 1.1 million patient records–pooled from four dental schools (limited dataset, de-identified for HIPAA reasons) using I2b2. The DDR can accept and integrate data from disparate dental data sources, and allow end users to explore and extract information to support their specific research or decision making needs. For instance, researchers can query the data on the Website and ask questions like: give me all females with caries risk “high,” give me the race distribution for the result set. The results will be instantly display on Website (in numbers only). After obtaining the appropriate IRB approval and approval by the COHRI Project Review Committee one can get the full data set in structured format. Please contact Dr. Muhammad F Walji for more information: Muhammad.F.Walji@uth.tmc.edu

I had the privilege to chair this year’s COHRI Education Steering Committee meeting. Our group established consensus that there needs to be more focus on ways to improve the learning outcomes of our students with the help of the EHR. As it stands now, we are somewhat limited in our approach as we facilitate education by keeping track of grades and credits for procedures. For instance, we asked how we efficiently could drill down into our treatment outcomes data and find out what students struggle with most; or how do we promote teaching beyond what we could previously do with paper records?

Our vision for technology-based clinical teaching is using existing technology to improve clinical teaching by applying methods that have been proven successful in the education sciences, like the use of scaffolding techniques for students and clinical instructors. The group felt that the time is ripe for some enhanced approaches since many schools have completed the EHR setup and solved the important clinical and financial feature implementation concerns.

The Education Steering Committee will focus on:

1. E-portfolios
The group felt that e-portfolios would not only serve to help students see what they have accomplished, but also improve their chances when applying for residencies as the National Boards will convert pass/fail eliminating their use for applicant screening. Contact me if you are interested in contributing: hspallek@pitt.edu

2. Virtual Case Exchange
One of the questions raised was how do we manage to share interesting cases across students, faculty and residents inside our schools and across COHRI member schools.
And, how can we provide easy-to-access virtual cases that would support clinical teaching with technology to make our overworked clinician-educators more effective.

3. Pool Training Resources Across Schools
Many schools create axiUm training resources for their internal use, potentially causing duplication of work across schools. We plan to share these training resources under a CC license which allows schools to modify the content (with attribution). If you are interested in working on this project, please contact Eric Salmon: esalmon@PACIFIC.EDU.

Associate Dean, Office of Faculty Development and Information Management
Associate Professor, Dental Public Health, Center for Dental Informatics
School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh