The past quarter has been a uniquely challenging time. Concerns for the health and safety of our loved ones, our neighbors, our nation, and ourselves are at an all-time high. Now, more than ever, it feels important to use our skills and resources to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 and strive for health equity.

Since our last update, the ADVANCE team has worked to remain responsive and engaged in efforts around COVID-19 and health equity in research. Here are some key updates from the network:

ADVANCE MILESTONE

The ADVANCE network reached a milestone with just over 6 million distinct patients in the ADVANCE Research Data Warehouse (RDW). This is noteworthy for our network, given that when ADVANCE started in 2013 we had only 1.6 million patients. The added patients were due both to the increase in membership in the OCHIN and HCN networks as new organizations and clinics joined as well as the increase in patients over time for all partners.

This table provides an overview of the growth of our network since the beginning of the year:

RECENTLY SUBMITTED ADVANCE PROPOSALS

This past quarter, several ADVANCE project teams submitted applications for supplemental funding to support COVID-19 research:

ACHES

The ACHES team submitted an application for supplemental funding to understand the impact of COVID-19 on community health center patients, including those with and without chronic conditions and multimorbidities.

PaCR

The PaCR team applied for supplemental funding to leverage the PaCR BP Control Lab’s infrastructure and current data sources to answer important questions about the relationship between blood pressure and COVID-19 and to explore the impact of changes to health care delivery.

BRIDGE-C2

The BRIDGE-C2 team’s supplemental funding application focused on expanding the center’s work and understanding how the COVID-19 pandemic affects cancer prevention and control among the nation’s underserved patients that receive care in CHCs.

EVERYWOMAN

The EVERYWOMAN team sought supplemental funding to support data-only analysis to describe changes in contraceptive and prenatal care delivery among women of reproductive age during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team intends to look at changes in visit types, format, and payers as well as differences between Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states.

Congratulations to the investigators and their teams for their submissions! We look forward to hearing from funders soon.

SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE HERO REGISTRY

The HERO Registry is open to anyone who works in a setting in which people receive health care, including nurses, social workers, therapists, physicians, emergency responders, food service workers, environmental services workers, interpreters, transporters and more. Signing up is free and only takes a few minutes on the HERO Registry website. Over 15,000 participants have enrolled in the HERO Registry covering all 50 states. Please continue to help spread the word about this opportunity to improve our understanding of COVID-19, including ways to keep healthcare workers and their families safe and healthy. Promotional material about the Registry can be found here.

DATAVANT DEATH INDEX IMPLEMENTATION

Excitingly, ADVANCE implemented the Datavant Death Index this past quarter. Datavant provides access to additional supplemental data on patient dates of death.

Overview

  • Datavant’s Death Index is a dataset containing information on deceased individuals in the United States and Canada.
  • It contains over 100 million historical deaths, with over 50 thousand deaths added weekly.
  • Datavant’s Death Index enables us to securely determine which individuals in a particular dataset (such as a set of claims, EHR data, or other data sets) are now deceased. Matching is done using secure, de-identified tokens.

Data Sources

  • Datavant’s Death Index combines death records sourced from the NTIS Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (referred to as “SSA”) as well as third party data from public and private obituaries (referred to as “Obit” data) from 2010 onward. About 99.6% of the data is on deaths in the United States, and the rest are from Canada.
  • Datavant processes data from these two sources on a weekly basis and combines them into a single, deduplicated table.

How do you access the Datavant Death Index? The index will be housed at OCHIN under the regulatory guidance of the Master License Agreement. The Datavant death index is available to use by all ADVANCE partners for any study. If any ADVANCE partner is interested in using the index for a project, please reach out to Rebecca Block (blockr@ochin.org) or Pedro Rivera (riverap@ochin.org).

DATA UPDATE

In May, data curations for all ADVANCE sites were approved by PCORnet! Thank you to our data architects, Thuy and Pedro, for their continued work on ADVANCE! Data curation refers to the quarterly process of updating the PCORnet research data warehouse, then running the data quality check scripts from PCORnet to ensure the data meet PCORnet standards.

In early April, OCHIN was the first organization in PCORnet® to stand up a COVID-19 CDM populated only with data for patients who are COVID-19 positive. The COVID-19 CDM includes patients considered at high-risk for COVID-19 and patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 who have not yet been tested or are awaiting results. The CDM is currently being updated with OCHIN data on a daily basis and we are working with the ADVANCE partners to increase their data update frequencies and exploring the potential for the CDC to use the CDM as a surveillance tool.

GRAND ROUNDS

We are excited to resume our Grand Rounds series this month with a presentation from Dr. Deborah Cohen of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Dr. Samuel Edwards of Veterans Affairs (VA) Portland Health Care System & OHSU on burnout in primary care.   

Please join us online on Friday, July 17th from 12-1 PM PT as Drs. Cohen and Edwards present the results from EvidenceNOW—the largest quality improvement project funded by AHRQ, is focused on the dissemination of evidence-based practices for heart health in small to medium sized primary care practices. Through EvidenceNOW, ESCALATES has collected survey data from over 10,000 primary care practice members in over 1700 practices in 12 states, providing one of the most comprehensive examinations of practice level drivers of burnout conducted to date.

Please register for the event here. To join our Grand Rounds mailing list, please email William Pinnock at pinnockw@ochin.org.

Thank you all for your continued involvement and support of ADVANCE. Through the wonderful work of our ADVANCE team and partners, we know that ADVANCE will continue to contribute in many substantial and exciting ways in conducting research and improving the care and outcomes of the patients and clinics we all serve.

We look forward to sharing more next time!

Thank you,

The OCHIN ADVANCE Team