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Academic Update

Volume 3, Issue 4          November 21, 2012

Moodle Unavailable on Dec. 20 & 21 for Upgrades

SBMI Moodle will be upgraded from 2.2.4 to 2.3.2+ on December 20 and 21. New plugins and a new theme will be installed for SBMI Moodle. Moodle will be unavailable during the upgrade.

Cerner AES Electronic Health Record Added in Curriculum


The UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics is pleased to announce that Cerner’s Academic Solution (AES) Electronic Health Record will be integrated into the course curriculum beginning in January 2013. Students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with an EHR that is used in many healthcare organizations across the U.S. SBMI faculty received training on Nov. 19 to become more familiar with the features and functionalities of AES.

Additionally, SBMI is in the planning stage of creating a virtual EHR laboratory. Using a virtual approach, students will remotely access selected EHRs using the Internet. Students will gain real-world experience with EHRs through simulations that will be used to complete course assignments. SBMI is committed to providing students with the latest in EHR technologies.

Read more about Cerner's AES EHR

News from AMIA 2012

At the closing session of the AMIA 2012 Annual Symposium, UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics Professor Dean Sittig, PhD, was elected to the American Medical Informatics Association board of directors. Members of the board oversee the organization and are considered nationally-recognized informatics leaders.

Read the full story

Constance Johnson, a 2003 SBMI graduate from the doctoral program, won the prestigious Harriet H. Werley Award at AMIA 2012 for her paper “A Usability Problem: Conveying Health Risks to Consumers on the Internet.”

More information

Coming soon to our YouTube channel is the AMIA 2012 wrap-up video highlighting the awards, presentations and events at the annual symposium.

Request for Proposals: Internal Grants in Interprofessional Ethics

The UTHealth Program in Interprofessional Ethics is requesting proposals for grants up to $10,000 for projects related to interprofessional ethics.  Projects may be related to research, practice, education or policy but all must include at least two health care professions; e.g., nursing and dentistry.  All UTH faculty and students are eligible to apply. Proposals submitted by interdisciplinary teams are especially encouraged.  Proposals must be submitted by email by midnight Dec. 1, 2012 to  Notification will be by Jan. 1, 2013.  Recipients of the grants will be given free registration at the UTHealth Interprofessional Education Conference on June 2-3, 2013 and will be expected to present either a poster or oral presentation at the conference.

Learn more about the proposal requirements

Cookie Social and Poster Session

Students are invited to join the Office of Academic Affairs for holiday treats and refreshments at the SBMI Dean & Student Holiday Cookie Social! It will be held in conjunction with the Fall Poster Session, which will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 10 in UCT 1414. If you are not presenting posters, come to view other students’ posters and ring in the holiday season with faculty, staff and fellow students.

Poster Session

Faculty Research Featured in NEJM Article

Dean Sittig, PhD, co-authored an article in the New England Journal of Medicine on e-patient safety that has been covered by TMC News, Science Codex, Health Data Management, the ScrubsReport, Red Orbit and other publications.

Read the full story
Read the full NEJM article

New Grants Awarded to SBMI Faculty

UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics professor Hongbin Wang, PhD, is receiving funding for phase 2 of his project, "Integrative Cognitive-Neuroscience Architectures for Understanding Sensemaking." The project is funded by The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) via subcontract from HRL Laboratories. The new phase runs from Dec. 6, 2012 to June 5, 2014 with a budget of approximately $360,000 for UTHealth.

Read the full story

Trevor Cohen, MBChB, PhD, and Amy Franklin, PhD, have received a subcontract as a component of the James S. McDonnell foundation grant, "Cognitive Complexity and Error in Critical Care" (PI: Vimla Patel). The subcontract begins Nov. 1 and runs for one year, with a budget of $56,000. It focuses on the development and evaluation of a training tool to enhance error detection and recovery, and the analysis of differences in work process across different ICU settings.

2013 Annual Geriatric Interdisciplinary Student Competition

Students will work with an interdisciplinary team to assess and analyze the needs of community-dwelling elders diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia and their families. The competition will emphasize community needs assessment and feasibility of establishing “Memory Café” programs in the selected neighborhoods. To help prepare students for this competition, students will receive:

  • Access to experts
  • Interdisciplinary team training
  • Experience with community elders with Alzheimer’s disease
  • Practical knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease at different levels of care
  • Materials on needs of the community and elders
  • Training and materials on conducting needs assessment within community

The experience will require a minimum of 24 hours of commitment over three months. All students will receive a certificate of participation and a medallion with a ribbon in their school colors to wear at graduation. Students may also register for independent study credit with a faculty member from their discipline.

Registration: Nov. 1, 2012 — Jan. 22, 2013
Orientation: Jan. 28, 2013, 5:30 — 8:00 pm
Competition: April 22, 2013, 5:30 — 8:00 pm

For more information, contact Fang Ye at 713-500-9170 or

SBMI Adjunct Associate Professor Recognized in Clinical Informatics

Top 25Chief medical informatics officer for Memorial Hermann Healthcare System Dr. Robert Murphy is listed as one of the top 25 clinical informaticists of 2012 on Murphy has led improvements to the clinical decision-support functions of the system’s EHRs to include increasingly complex clinical environments. That effort is credited with identifying and preventing 10,000 medical errors annually. Murphy also serves on a health IT technical working group of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Learn more about Murphy and his work at Memorial Hermann
Learn more about the top 25 clinical informaticians

Important Dates

Nov 19-Jan 11    Spring '13 Registration
Nov 22-23          Thanksgiving Day Holiday
Dec 1-28            SBMI - Orientation (online)
Dec 3-17            FA12 Course Evaluation Survey
Dec 7                 Last Class Day
Dec 7                 Students Completed Work to Faculty for Incomplete Grades from
                          Previous Summer Semester
Dec 10               SBMI Poster Session and Holiday Cookie Social (4p-6p)
Dec 10-14          Final Exams
Dec 14               Faculty Grade Changes to Registrar for Summer Incompletes
Dec 20-21          Moodle Unavailable for Upgrades

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