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January 17, 2013 at 15:00 PM EST
New, Open Access Journal Turns Peer-Review Lens toward Improving the Research Process

eGEMs Features Innovations in the Use of Electronic Clinical Data to Improve Health Care

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AcademyHealth today announced the official launch of eGEMs, a free, peer-reviewed e-publication that will publish innovative ideas and practices using electronic clinical data to advance health systems research and quality improvement, and improve patient and community outcomes.

Rapid growth in the availability of electronic clinical data is supporting widespread innovation and use of these data for research and practice. However, the traditional pace of peer reviewed publication may limit rapid learning, and stakeholders have called for complementary strategies to accelerate the dissemination of innovative approaches. The goal of eGEMs,short for "Generating Evidence and Methods to improve patient outcomes," is to help fill this need by facilitating rapid dissemination of strategies that advance the science of comparative effectiveness research, patient-centered outcomes research and quality improvement using electronic clinical data.

"Traditional peer-reviewed journals largely focus on the end result of a research project—the outcomes or findings—and less on the procedural, technical, and methodological building blocks that generate research findings … the traditional approach tends to narrow-in on the 'destination' of scientific discovery rather than the 'journey,'" writes eGEMs Editor-in-Chief Erin Holve, Ph.D., in the opening commentary. "In big science, particularly in big, collaborative, multi-disciplinary science using electronic clinical data, there are a lot of moving parts, a lot of sub-analyses, and a lot of contributors whose more granular contributions to the 'journey' have scientific merit and are useful to the community. This is where eGEMs comes in."

eGEMs is a product of the Electronic Data Methods (EDM) Forum, initiative to collect, synthesize, and share lessons learned from research projects that are developing and using electronic clinical data to conduct comparative effectiveness research and patient-centered outcomes research sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The publication seeks submissions in four main topic areas: analytic methods, clinical informatics, governance, and the learning health system. The goal of eGEMs is ultimately to promote dialogue and the sharing of ideas between researchers and other stakeholders in a credible and timely way, extending the efforts of the EDM Forum. Submissions may include original papers, visualizations, or videos that address methods to develop data and informatics resources. Holve, who is also director of Research and Education in HSR at AcademyHealth, leads the EDM Forum. 

In an accompanying commentary, AcademyHealth President and CEO Dr. Lisa Simpson explains the impetus and vision for eGEMs:

"Health services researchers have always been able to share the results of their studies through the many existing peer-reviewed journals and grey literature outlets. What we have been less able to do is disseminate the approaches and methods that yielded those results in sufficient detail to replicate and/or adapt them. Whether it is how to engage patients, map and merge electronic clinical datasets, or translate findings to stakeholders, we need a forum where successes and failures can be reviewed and published quickly. As the professional society for the field, AcademyHealth supports innovation, adaptation, and learning to advance research itself. We are launching eGEMs in response to the expressed needs of our members and partners as part of helping our field 'learn how to learn' and capitalize on the opportunities in the present research environment."


The eGEMs platform offers authors whose work focuses on issues related to the emerging paradigm of using electronic clinical data to advance research an opportunity to undergo an expedited double-blind peer-reviewed process. For example, in addition to the commentaries, the first issue includes an informatics paper, "In Search of a Data-in-Once, Electronic Health Record-Linked, Multicenter Registry— How Far We Have Come and How Far We Still Have to Go" by Keith Marsolo and a methods paper, "Effect Identification in Comparative Effectiveness Research" by Michael Oakes.

Submissions are published upon acceptance. Investigators from diverse settings using electronic clinical data, including large delivery systems, hospitals, collaborating community practices, and public health and delivery systems, are encouraged to submit to eGEMs by contacting beth.johnson@academyhealth.org.

In addition to eGEMs, AcademyHealth continues its relationship with its official journals Health Affairs and HSR, leaders in the publication of outstanding papers in health policy and health services research.

For more information, submission guidelines or to read the inaugural issue of eGEMs, visit http://repository.academyhealth.org/egems/.

About AcademyHealth

AcademyHealth is a leading national organization serving the fields of health services and policy research and the professionals who produce and use this important work. Together with our members, we offer programs and services that support the development and use of rigorous, relevant and timely evidence to increase the quality, accessibility, and value of health care, to reduce disparities, and to improve health. A trusted broker of information, AcademyHealth brings stakeholders together to address the current and future needs of an evolving health system, inform health policy, and translate evidence into action.

The EDM Forum is supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, Grant U13 HS19564-01. eGEMs publications do not reflect the official view of AHRQ or the United States Department of Health and Human Services

SOURCE AcademyHealth

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