CTHealthLink Infrastructure to Support NIH Suicide Prevention Grant Award

CTHealthLink, the statewide health information exchange (HIE) led by the Connecticut State Medical Society, is pleased to announce that a team of investigators led by CTHealthLink Advisory Committee member Robert Aseltine, PhD has been awarded a $1.9 million suicide prevention grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults in the United States, suicide is one of the most serious public health problems facing our country. Most individuals who die by suicide were actively receiving health care, yet their risk for suicide remained undetected. The National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) Zero Suicide Initiative aims to address gaps in the health care system that interfere with the identification and management of patients at risk of suicide.

“By integrating patient data across different providers and clinical settings, CTHealthLink will provide a critical part of the infrastructure necessary to identify at-risk patients,” noted Dr. Aseltine, Professor and Chair of the Division of Behavioral Sciences at UConn Health. “In addition to suicide prevention, this approach could be applied to a host of other problems and conditions, such as preventable hospital readmissions, resulting in better patient care and more efficient use of health care resources.”

Dr. Aseltine and his co-investigators will develop an innovative method for identifying patients at risk of suicide by analyzing electronic health data from CTHealthLink, medical and pharmacy claims data from the Connecticut All Payer Claims Database, and mortality data collected by the state of Connecticut. They will use an analytic approach called “multimodal data fusion” to predict suicide risk by incorporating information from these disparate data sources. By analyzing de-identified data on patient diagnoses, procedures, medication history, screening assessments, clinical notes, and patient demographic characteristics, the investigators will develop “phenotypes,” or profiles of patients at risk of suicidal behavior. Clinicians could then access these phenotypes to obtain timely data on a particular patient’s risk of suicidal behavior. CTHealthLink’s extensive analytics infrastructure can facilitate use of these phenotypes at the point of care to intervene with at risk patients.

Working with the Connecticut State Medical Society and clinical partners in the state, the investigators will develop strategies to deploy these phenotypes in diverse clinical settings, and to identify and address the risk of suicidal behavior among patients in their care.

About CTHealthLink: CTHealthLink is a physician-led health information network delivered in partnership with the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) offering a suite of health information technology tools to help health professionals across the state of Connecticut CONNECT. ANALYZE. ENGAGE. and TRANSFORM. the health care industry. Visit www.cthealthlink.com/about to learn more.

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  • Matthew Katz
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