12-health system consortium to answer public’s COVID-19 questions using patient data 

UC San Diego Health, the Veterans Affairs healthcare system and 10 other health systems teamed up this week to launch a  COVID-19 research consortium that answers questions submitted by the general public using patient record data. 

“No single hospital alone has treated enough patients with COVID-19 to be able to see reliable patterns emerge, and use that information to guide the direction of new studies,” said Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, PhD, leader of the consortium and biomedical informatics chair at UC San Diego Health.  “That’s why we formed the R2D2 Consortium.”

Using the website, members of the general public can submit questions about adults hospitalized with COVID-19, and consortium team members would evaluate the questions to determine if they have enough data to provide answers. 

The questions would be translated into a computer code and the 12 participating health systems would run the code on their own patient EHRs and report  the results back to the consortium. When results start coming in and become statistically meaningful, the answers would be posted back to the COVID-19questions.org website as data for researchers to examine. 

The COVID-19 questions site can pull from data of more than 45 million patients, including more than 59,000 who tested positive for COVID-19 and 29,000 who were hospitalized with the infection. 

The 12 health systems, representing more than 200 hospitals, participating in the consortium are: 

  • UC San Diego Health 
  • Cedars Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles) 
  • Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany) 
  • San Mateo (Calif.) Medical Center
  • University of California Davis Health (Sacramento) 
  • University of California Irvine 
  • University of California Los Angeles 
  • University of California San Francisco
  • University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (Aurora) 
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles) 
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Memorial Hermann Health System
  • Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (Los Angeles) 

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