CSE Speaker – Jeffrey Havlena

On Friday, September 14th at 3:00 pm in Jones Annex 101, Jeffrey Havlena will discuss “Computer-Driven Medical and Surgical Outcomes Research”.

Abstract: Ever since the widespread acceptance of ‘Evidence-Based Medicine’ in the early 1990s, the use of data- and computer-based analytical methods has become an integral part of ‘Scientific Medicine.’ This is especially true for ‘Outcomes Research,’ that part of evidence-based medicine where the near- and long-term outcomes associated with different medical and surgical interventions are evaluated for effectiveness, cost, and potential negative outcomes. As computer availability, power, storage and inter-connectivity have increased in the last years, so have the use and dependence on computer-based, data-driven analytical methods in medical and surgical outcomes research.


As a founding member of the Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research (WiSOR) program (https://www.surgery.wisc.edu/research/wisor/), I have had the opportunity to provide data and analytical data products in support of a number of different outcomes research projects, most including the evaluation of new and novel surgical interventions. Many of these studies have used some combination of ‘administrative’ date, which typically includes ‘claims data’ collected primarily for billing by the individual surgeons and associated hospitals. Unique restrictions on the use of patient-identifiable data require that the data be collected, analyzed and presented according to the precise requirements of the 1996 ‘Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’ (HIPAA), as well as the requirements of the data vendor. ‘Data Use Agreements’ are a ‘must,’ and usually need to be in place and signed by all programmers and analysts before work can begin. Finally, reporting – including manuscripts for professional journals and conference presentations – must meet rigorous data size and type requirements before submission to a journal.


This presentation will review the overall data analysis and reporting methods, procedures and restrictions associated with Surgical and Medical Outcomes Research, and will present parts of several case studies to illustrate the key concepts associated with this type of research.