Objective: To explore the ability of an integrated health information infrastructure to support outcomes research. Methods: A systematic review of articles published from 1983 to 2012 by Regenstrief Institute investigators using data from an integrated electronic health record infrastructure involving multiple provider organisations was performed. Articles were independently assessed and classified by study design, disease and other metadata including bibliometrics. Results: A total of 190 articles were identified. Diseases included cognitive, (16) cardiovascular, (16) infectious, (15) chronic illness (14) and cancer (12). Publications grew steadily (26 in the first decade vs. 100 in the last) as did the number of investigators (from 15 in 1983 to 62 in 2012). The proportion of articles involving non-Regenstrief authors also expanded from 54% in the first decade to 72% in the last decade. During this period, the infrastructure grew from a single health system into a health information exchange network covering more than 6 million patients. Analysis of journal and article metrics reveals high impact for clinical trials and comparative effectiveness research studies that utilised data available in the integrated infrastructure. Discussion: Integrated information infrastructures support growth in high quality observational studies and diverse collaboration consistent with the goals for the learning health system. More recent publications demonstrate growing external collaborations facilitated by greater access to the infrastructure and improved opportunities to study broader disease and health outcomes. Conclusions: Integrated information infrastructures can stimulate learning from electronic data captured during routine clinical care but require time and collaboration to reach full potential.
- Comparative study
- Information systems
- Research networks
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Library and Information Sciences
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management