On April 10, 2023, The UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, or CTSI, hosted its very first LHS Research Day, an event dedicated to showcasing the latest in Learning Health Systems, or LHS, research across the University of Florida and its Academic Health Center. This inaugural event was well-attended and left standing room only as attendees gathered to hear opening remarks from UF Health leaders, keynote presentations from visiting scholars. The day also featured a poster session that brought together researchers from multiple disciplines to display the impact of LHS on advancing health outcomes and clinical and translational science.
The event kicked off with remarks from four esteemed UF leaders in healthcare and clinical science, including UF health president and senior vice president of health affairs, David Nelson, M.D., and dean of the UF College of Medicine, Colleen Koch, M.D., as well as senior associate dean for research affairs, Azra Bihorac, M.D., and the CTSI director, Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D. Together they shared a vision of patient-centered outcomes, improved healthcare and greater accessibility made possible through the implementation of LHS across UF’s clinical research landscape.
Following these opening remarks, attendees were treated to two keynote speeches from experts at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, including its chief research officer and senior associate dean of Clinical and Translational Research at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Steven Bernstein, M.D., and tenured professor of Epidemiology, Biomedical Data Science and Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Jeremiah Brown, Ph.D.
Dr. Brown, who is also the founding director of the Dartmouth Center for Implementation Science and current chair of the Science of Implementation in Health and Healthcare NIH study section, provided the morning’s first keynote, discussing use of automated surveillance reporting to prevent acute kidney injury, outlining the implications of this research for the widespread implementation of LHS across similar applications.
This presentation was followed by Dr. Bernstein who discussed the importance of developing effective treatment strategies for tobacco dependence as part of a multiphase optimization trial for studies of these treatment strategies. He highlighted the role of LHS in assisting his team with designing and implementing these trials and how their application can help advance treatment and dependence research.
LHS Research Day concluded with poster session featuring 35 poster presenters who represented LHS research from across UF. Attendees had the opportunity to explore a variety of topics, including implementation science, quality improvement, the use of AI in healthcare, electronic health records, telehealth, pragmatic clinical trials, comparative effectiveness research, and social determinants of health. Two presenters from the College of Medicine’s Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics were awarded the Outstanding Poster Award: Melissa Bou Malham, M.D., a research scholar for her poster titled “Stakeholder Engagement Plan for Comparative Effectiveness of Mobile Health Smoking Cessation Approaches among Underserved Patients in Primary Care,” and Ho Yin Chan, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate for his poster titled “Machine learning based Acute Kidney Injury sub-phenotyping with time series serum creatinine data.”
As the first event of its kind hosted by UF, LHS Research Day proved to be a promising start to exploring the impact that LHS have on advancing health research and improving outcomes for all patients. The event not only demonstrated the university’s ongoing commitment to LHS research, but also the rapid growth of the field. The large number of attendees and participants served as a showcase of LHS research excellence across multiple areas of clinical and translational science at UF and beyond.