Medical College joins Greater Plains Collaborative

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) has joined the Greater Plains Collaborative, a multi-state network linking 10 medical centers in seven states.

A $7 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which was created through the Affordable Care Act, will fund the Greater Plains Collaborative for 18 months. 

Nearly $500,000 of the grant will go to the Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s (CTSI) biomedical informatics team at MCW to establish the process, methods and system for sharing information in collaboration with the grant partners.

Marshfield Clinic and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have also joined the collaborative, making Wisconsin the only state in the network with three medical centers participating. 

The network, part of the Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet), will build a data set from electronic medical records that will be used to contribute to new research in the fields of breast cancer, obesity and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease).

“To establish interoperable systems across all institutions is challenging, calling for parallel systems for collecting and managing data, governance structures, common dictionaries of terms, and standard operating procedures,” said Brad Taylor, the principal investigator on the grant at MCW.  “Once that data can be shared, this network will provide physicians with patient information that otherwise would not be accessible, which offers evidence for the treatments with the best potential for patients.”

Greater Plains Collaborative partners by state are: Iowa, University of Iowa Healthcare; Kansas, the University of Kansas Medical Center; Missouri, Children’s Mercy Hospital; Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center; Nebraska, the University of Nebraska Medical Center; and Texas, the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; and Wisconsin, UW-Madison, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Marshfield Clinic.

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