Hospitals and medical offices are seeking to save money while becoming more efficient by replacing paper files with electronic medical records. At National Jewish Health, the massive amount of clinical, radiological and biological information in those medical records is turning out to be very important to our research as well. Using anonymized
electronic health records as a research tool, National Jewish Health researchers have found a new drug for autoimmune lung disease, discovered immune abnormalities in patients with nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infections, and identified promising
candidates for trials of new cancer drugs.
National Jewish Health has pushed this strategy a step further by integrating electronic health records with tissue samples taken from thousands of patients who agreed to participate in research. That allows researchers not only to look for patterns in data already collected but also to gather additional information from the biological samples as new questions arise.
There are more than four million data points in the National Jewish Health research database, whcih contains records from 150,000 patients.