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Crossing the Chasm
  1. Brenda G. Fahy, MD*,
  2. C. William Balke, MD,
  3. Gloria H. Umberger, PhD, MSPH, RPh‡§,
  4. Jeffery Talbert, PhD,
  5. Denise Niles Canales, MA, CIM,
  6. Carol L. Steltenkamp, MD, MBA#,
  7. Joseph Conigliaro, MD, MPH, FACP**
  1. From the *Departments of Anesthesiology and Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY; †Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; and ‡Department of Neurology, §Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Kentucky Clinic, ∥College of Pharmacy, ¶Center for Biomedical Informatics, #College of Medicine, and **Colleges of Medicine and Public Health, Lexington VA Medical Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
  1. Received July 30, 2010, and in revised form December 20, 2010.
  2. Accepted for publication February 5, 2011.
  3. Reprints: Joseph Conigliaro, MD, MPH, FACP, NYU-HHC Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Division of General Internal Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, 423 E 23rd St, 15-121AN, New York, NY 10010. E-mail:
  4. Supported by the National Institutes of Health.
  5. The authors do not have any conflicts of interest.

Information Technology to Biomedical Informatics


Accelerating the translation of new scientific discoveries to improve human health and disease management is the overall goal of a series of initiatives integrated in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) "Roadmap for Medical Research." The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program is, arguably, the most visible component of the NIH Roadmap providing resources to institutions to transform their clinical and translational research enterprises along the goals of the Roadmap. The CTSA program emphasizes biomedical informatics as a critical component for the accomplishment of the NIH's translational objectives. To be optimally effective, emerging biomedical informatics programs must link with the information technology platforms of the enterprise clinical operations within academic health centers.

This report details one academic health center's transdisciplinary initiative to create an integrated academic discipline of biomedical informatics through the development of its infrastructure for clinical and translational science infrastructure and response to the CTSA mechanism. This approach required a detailed informatics strategy to accomplish these goals. This transdisciplinary initiative was the impetus for creation of a specialized biomedical informatics core, the Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBI). Development of the CBI codified the need to incorporate medical informatics including quality and safety informatics and enterprise clinical information systems within the CBI. This article describes the steps taken to develop the biomedical informatics infrastructure, its integration with clinical systems at one academic health center, successes achieved, and barriers encountered during these efforts.

Key Words
  • CTSA
  • information technology clinical and translational research
  • biomedical informatics

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