Clinical Looking Glass has opened up a whole new world of research opportunities for me. I can easily design and create studies and define cohorts to be included in the study populations. I can examine what’s going on at the point of care using EMR data integrated into CLG. And I can be self-sufficient - I don't need to rely on people from the IT department or statisticians.
The best thing about CLG is that it doesn't impose its structures on me - it allows me to be as creative as I want. With an enriched data store and the range of analytical capabilities in CLG, I can compare statistically significant differences in health outcomes including morbidity, mortality, and readmission rates as well as intermediate outcomes such as blood pressure readings or Hemoglobin A1c levels. As a result, I am able to add value to my physician colleagues, who can better initiate patient remediation on a one-to-one or population basis.
Identify Quality Improvement Opportunities
CLG can compare multiple parameters across many time periods as it incorporates clinical encounter data, lab and radiology orders and results, pharmacy use, demographic information, admissions, and claims data.
CLG makes it easy for me to do statistical comparisons, which can be used by clinician researchers to understand how care is being delivered and to identify opportunities for improving quality. And I can do this without a programmer, statistician, or data manager who have their priorities set by others.
One particularly valuable study I did looked at patients with specific diagnoses who were discharged from the hospital against medical advice. I was able to compare readmission rates for patients with the same discharge diagnosis. In addition I was able to compare a cohort of patients age 65 and over with the national Medicare database to analyze differences in mortality rates. The results of these studies allowed our medical center to rethink how it interacted with these patients and improve the quality of care they received.
Create Funding Opportunities
If you are a new researcher or a clinician without a research track record, CLG is invaluable. It creates a huge edge in competing for funding. CLG allows you to conduct meaningful research with such high quality that you can get your study published. So far over two dozen studies have been published using Clinical Looking Glass, most of which were done by clinicians without much research experience before learning CLG. Once you have published and have the CLG tool available to give you an edge, it is much easier to compete with other researchers for funding.
Selecting the right cohort and clinical data to study is often an iterative process as a researcher attempts to “get it right”. CLG allows quick and iterative cohort selection. If I want to know something else about my cohort after my first dive into the data, I simply modify my study and know the result in minutes. Often a study raises as many questions as it answers. Using CLG, I don’t have to wait in line for the program to be changed to rerun it. The ability to rerun a study and get the results right away is a huge motivating factor for me.
Furthermore Clinical Looking Glass makes it much easier for me to study multiple parameters at once. I remember one study where I was able to compare patients with the co-variates of clinical diagnosis, blood pressure reading, lab test results, and history of substance abuse. The result was illuminating.
In short, Clinical Looking Glass puts the ability to do complex studies and analyses right in my own hands, increases my value to our organization, and motivates me to discover new quality improvement opportunities.
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