Sunday, July 29, 2012

New Developments at RTI

RTI International received a contract from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to develop an online database and communication platform to help public health professionals share information about quality improvement initiatives.

The problem is that while sustained national efforts at quality improvement are critical to optimizing health across all populations; there is no nationally recognized online collaboration resource for quality improvement in public health.

The “Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange” (PHQIX) will serve as an online centralized communication hub to support quality improvement efforts in public health practices throughout the U.S.

When the PHQIX launches in September 2012, the website will include a searchable online database and interactive discussion features to facilitate increased knowledge and understanding of quality improvement initiatives. Users will be able to submit their own quality improvement initiatives online and search for interventions and tools relevant to their specific health department and community needs.

The PHQIX currently being developed employs a user-centered design process. A user group consisting of public health practitioners will provide input as the exchange is created using an agile development process. While the technology infrastructure for PHQIX is being developed, initial submissions will be reviewed as the standardized submission format is established.

RTI International has also developed new search tools funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to improve access to kidney, diabetes, and liver clinical trial data to make it easier for scientists and others to access data. It is possible to use the tools to search the contents of the repository by disease, study type, treatment, or keyword. It is also possible to combine studies to increase the power of results obtained.

The set of five query tools were developed and recently added to the NIDDK Central Data Repository. The repository available at warehouses study information, biospecimens, and findings from clinical studies sponsored by NIDDK and makes electronic datasets from these clinical studies available to the research community.