CHITREC builds an EHR-enabled community that directly results in collaborative research projects.

Broad and effective implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) in Chicago creates a strong foundation for translational and community-based research (Kho et al 2011). An extensive EHR-enabled network combined with innovative technologies, strong community partnerships, and an academic foundation maximizes opportunities health informatics research.

Providers signed up with CHITREC are invited to collaborate on research projects that can impact Chicago residents and the medical care community. Our research interests include, but are not limited to:

  • Electronic health records and Meaningful Use
  • Patient engagement (e.g. patient portals)
  • Algorithm development for clinical decision support systems
  • Computer science and artificial intelligence for health information management
  • Geocoding and mapping health data for epidemiology
  • Use of HIT to predict health outcomes in populations
  • Usability testing and design
  • Community-Engaged research
  • Mobile health technology

Read more below for information about our current research projects.

Chicago Health Atlas

The Chicago Health Atlas aims to pool de-identified clinical information across multiple medical institutions using mapping technology. Atlas aims to serve as a community data resource providing policy-makers, researchers, community advocates, and public health leaders with insight into health trends and opportunities to improve care across Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods.

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Geographic Information Systems in Public Health Special Interest Group

Based at Northwestern University in Chicago, this special interest group focuses on GIS work in health care and health research.

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Usability Testing

Usability determines whether and how systems are used in a meaningful way, such as EHRs or patient portals. It allows researchers to measure indicators such as efficiency, effectiveness, satisfaction, and ease of use of a system. The Usability Testing Center will equip researchers with state-of-the-art technology to enhance study activities and research design. With support from User Centric and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty, activities may span from technology design to eye tracking.

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CommunityRx is an innovative project that aims to link patients to community resources through EHRs for Chicago’s South Side communities.

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Use of EHRs in Clinical Research

Combining our expertise in electronic patient identification, natural language processing, and data mining, we demonstrate more efficient, more representative, and less expensive infrastructure for research studies, modifiable for studies of multiple acute diseases.

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Our research team develops and maximizes cutting-edge tools and technologies to innovate multiple aspects of health informatics research, including clinical decision support, epidemiology, and genetics.

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Research Grants

CHITREC’s research team and collaborators have received more than $6 million dollars in federal and foundational grants to conduct innovative studies in the field of health information technology.

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Resources for Researchers and Providers

Opportunities for CHITREC providers and Chicago researchers exist to become engaged in health information technology research, leveraging academic and community resources at Northwestern University.

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