Conference Call with IBM on Educational EHR

Bob and I had our conference call with Michael Weiner of IBM today, and the net result is that IBM has interest in the work we are doing. The key take away is that there are two main areas of focus, both of which we have been working on/considering already.

  1. There are IBM employees who would benefit from the same curriculum regarding using/navigating an EHR that we are trying to develop for university students/instructors.

  2. Data mining/machine learning of health data.

In addition to describing what we have been working on, we had Michael log in to the nhanes demo server and then walked him through some of the functionality, explaining how we have both “synthetic data” from NHANES as well as the in depth records on the 10 patients Dr. Hoyt created manually. We also showed him the race/diagnosis analysis I mentioned previously.


This is amazing @yehster and @rhoyt

So, we need to come up with a business proposal for both issues. We need the input of everyone, but particularly the steering committee

Congratulations on the hard work and effort @rhoyt @yehster

This should give us some working capital to pay for video tutorials and some programming time. I suspect they would support our efforts in the long run to embed analytics into the EHR. Perhaps we could also improve the reports module as part of this

Could really use that report module and @yehster is the one who can best do it , IMO

I wonder if I should be using a learning management system (LMS) for the EHR curriculum and exercises. Moodle is open source and free. The others might be more robust but costly

This is really awesome !!

I would to hear from members of the Steering Committee how they would like us to proceed in terms of charging IBM for access to the educational version and for supplying them with health data

@rhoyt since your re the project maintainer you have a lot of leeway on deciding on the plans and costs for the project

Some tips

  1. payments are obviously processed through the conservancy - they take 15 % ? @downey may remember the exact figure so consider this

  2. Funding can be shared across projects - there is a direct relationship btw the work of EHR and Education and so add that in the budget

  3. Obviously things should be open source

  4. If you will need support of another project e.g. radiology then add something for them there

Hope these are helpful … I would just sketch something and share it to members instead of waiting the other way round. I think its ok to have that discussion as a private thread till final decisions are agreed unless @r0bby or other members are opposed

Again great job

1 Like

Ok. I haven’t received much input but I guess that means I can proceed but copy everyone on the steps I am taking. There are two deliverables for IBM. I’m tackling the educational EHR and Kevin is handling the health datasets. Questions:

  1. Should we offer to host it and charge a little more? How much would we charge for this?
  2. Should we give them the option of uploading everything to Moodle LMS and charge another $1000 to do this?
  3. I’m thinking about $10,000 for the educational piece and with that money perhaps the developers can improve the system, such as reports. They are paying for the software and the instructional materials I am developing. I think this is low-ball but would really like IBM as a customer
  4. I can’t speak for Kevin, but I’m guessing his role will not exceed $10,000, unless we plan to use his time and new money to somehow link SQL queries to LibreHealth EHR.
  5. I would like a long term relationship with IBM because they might fund a later effort to link the machine learning software WEKA to our educational EHR
  6. Multiple small grants from e.g. IBM might be better than waiting forever for a NIH or NSF grant
  7. Is it too early to reach out to another potential partner Wolters-Kluwer who are heavily invested in healthcare education???

Let’s default to public please. No reason for anything to happen privately.

@r0bby I don’t see how figuring out pricing should be a public thread till the final details are done

But I will let the education team decide on this

1 Like

It’s up to them ultimately – I’m just throwing my opinion out there. The reasoning is that if you recall – one of the issues we’re trying to not repeat is things being private when they didn’t need to be…I don’t feel like this needs to be private – unless there’s something sensitive in it, otherwise – it should be done publicly. This allows others to add to it vs a closed group of people.

I think we should host, but offer support if others want to host…charge for that.

I think 10k might be too little, but depends on what is being promised. 10k/institution is quite good, but for additional software development work, might be little for big changes - say like building a reporting part in the EHR to replace PhpMyAdmin?

I think having a long term relationship is required and we need to start designing the machine learning and Week integration…so that it is ready to start when funded.

Might be a little too early to get in others… I think getting a couple of institutions to use and then improve on it and then bring in others will be a useful strategy.


Is there anyone in the Software Conservancy that has contract experience? As a physician my experience with this has been limited. I have a research contract Brown University drew up with me I suppose I could modify. Like others, I am extremely busy with other work so help in this area would be appreciated.

I think I will write (via newsletter) some of the HI instructors (455) to solicit input about what they would like to see in an educational EHR and create a new email list of just those who respond

1 Like

The message that I tentatively plan to send out to informatics instructors would be as follows:

Status of the Educational EHR

  • We have uploaded about 9600 patients and their data from the 2011-2012 NHANES dataset into LibreHealth open source EHR
  • LibreHealth EHR was developed by former developers of OpenEMR and OpenMRS in late 2016
  • A demo is available at this URL. Username is admin and password is password
  • Our Mission and Vision statement is available here.
  • We plan to share all CSV files and the SQL dump file for analytics
  • We are in the process of creating user guides for students and hope to beta test the platform with two universities this fall. Ten optimized sample patients have been created.
  • IBM has expressed interest in using the educational EHR for their employees
  • After students go through the guide, take a scavenger hunt quiz and create a new test patient they will then move on to exercises we hope will appeal to a wide audience
  • Exercises will cover: order entry, clinical decision support, eCQMs, billing/coding/, HL7 messages, reports/registries and patient portals
  • If you have any ideas regarding additional exercises you would like to see please respond to Please share your curricula!
  • For those who respond I will create a newsletter for just those instructors who are interested in this project

I think this is a great introductory email maybe also update it on the site – I would like to tweet it to several educators too

On a different note , what do you need help with at the moment ?

Terry Hill is helping me scope the tech issues such as patient and client reports. I have a pre-med student helping to test the tutorials and scavenger hunt. As soon as the tutorials are polished I will post them here for input. I’ll send out the message about LibreHealth Educational EHR today.

As noted before I have no idea as to what format we should adopt to send a proposal to IBM. That is an area I would appreciate help with

@karen and @downey this is an area we could really use your help on … In terms of the contract and proposal to send to IBM to move forward … Hopeful for a positive response

1 Like