In healthcare facilities, health information systems (HISs) are used to serve different purposes. The radiology department adopts multiple HISs in managing their operations and patient care. In general, the HISs that touch radiology fall into two categories: tracking HISs and archive HISs. Electronic Health Records (EHR) is a typical tracking HIS, which tracks the care each patient receives at multiple encounters and facilities. Archive HISs are typically specialized databases to store large-size data collected as part of the patient care. A typical example of an archive HIS is the Picture Archive and Communication System (PACS), which provides economical storage and convenient access to diagnostic images from multiple modalities. How to integrate such HISs and best utilize their data remains a challenging problem due to the disparity of HISs as well as high-dimensionality and heterogeneity of the data. My PhD dissertation research includes three inter-connected and integrated topics and focuses on designing integrated HISs and further developing statistical models and machine learning algorithms for process and patient care improvement.
Topic 1: Design of super-HIS and tracking of quality of care (QoC). My research developed an information technology that integrates multiple HISs in radiology, and proposed QoC metrics defined upon the data that measure various dimensions of care. The DDD assisted the clinical practices and enabled an effective intervention for reducing lengthy radiologist turnaround times for patients.
Topic 2: Monitoring and change detection of QoC data streams for process improvement. With the super-HIS in place, high-dimensional data streams of QoC metrics are generated. I developed a statistical model for monitoring high- dimensional data streams that integrated Singular Vector Decomposition (SVD) and process control. The algorithm was applied to QoC metrics data, and additionally extended to another application of monitoring traffic data in communication networks.
Topic 3: Deep transfer learning of archive HIS data for computer-aided diagnosis (CAD). The novelty of the CAD system is the development of a deep transfer learning algorithm that combines the ideas of transfer learning and multi- modality image integration under the deep learning framework. Our system achieved high accuracy in breast cancer diagnosis compared with conventional machine learning algorithms.