SU-D-BRD-04: A Logical Organizational Approach to Clinical Information Management




To develop a clinical information management system (CIMS) that collects, organizes physician inputs logically and supports analysis functionality.


In a conventional electronic medical record system (EMR), the document manager component stores data in a pool of standalone .docx or .pdf files. The lack of a content-based logical organization makes cross-checking, reference or automatic inheritance of information challenging. We have developed an information-oriented clinical record system that addresses this shortcoming. In CIMS, a parent library predefines a set of available questions along with the data types of their expected answers. The creation of a questionnaire template is achieved by selecting questions from this parent library to form a virtual group. Instances of the same data field in different documents are linked by their question identifier. This design allows for flexible data sharing and inheritance among various forms using a longitudinal lineage of data indexed according to the modification time stamps of the documents. CIMS is designed with a web portal to facilitate querying, data entry and modification, aggregate report generation, and data adjudication. The current implementation addresses diagnostic data, medical history, vital signs, and various quantities in consult note and treatment summaries.


CIMS is currently storing treatment summary information of over 1,000 patients who have received treatment at UCLA Radiation Oncology between March 1, 2013 and January 31, 2014. We are in the process of incorporating a DICOM-RT dosimetry parser and patient reporting applications into CIMS, as well as continuing to define document templates to support additional forms.


We are able to devise an alternative storage paradigm which results in an improvement in the accuracy and organizational structure of clinical information.