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GeMQIN aims to improve patient care by harnessing 'the kind of big data AI was designed for'

Toronto, October 26, 2018

By Michael Oliveira

Drs. Fahad Razak (l) and Amol Verma
Drs. Fahad Razak (l) and Amol Verma

When Dr. Amol Verma recently tweeted that he and fellow St. Michael’s Hospital internist Dr. Fahad Razak are working together to launch Health Quality Ontario’s new project called General Medicine Quality Improvement Network (GeMQIN), excitement from across the province quickly flooded in.

Now being piloted at St. Michael’s, GeMQIN is powered by the team’s GEMINI (General Medicine Inpatient Initiative) data and analytics platform, a system to extract, standardize and analyze data from hospital data systems.

Through GeMQIN, general medicine physicians will receive confidential practice reports that allow them to review their individual clinical care patterns in relation to their peers. Reports will include data such as their patients’ length of stay in hospital, readmissions, in-hospital mortality, and use of routine bloodwork, advanced imaging and blood transfusion. The goal is for general medicine physicians to be able to access reliable comparative data that can be used to identify opportunities for quality improvement and celebrate and highlight examples of good care.

“In Ontario and Canada in general, hospital physicians have not been able to access data like this. How can you improve care without that essential information? This fills a really important gap in the system,” says Dr. Razak.

In the new year, six more hospitals will join GeMQIN. In all, GEMINI data from these seven hospitals contains between 500 million and one billion data points to be parsed, says Dr. Razak.

“It’s exactly the kind of big data that artificial intelligence was designed for,” Dr. Razak adds.

Beyond the data reports, GeMQIN will also allow general medicine physicians and hospital teams to connect through educational webinars, discussion groups, teleconferences, peer-mentoring, conferences and workshops, and other activities all focused on the goal of improving quality of care.

“We’re excited to use big data to build a community dedicated to improving the quality of general medicine care for Ontarians,” says Dr. Verma, who along with Dr. Razak is also a provincial clinical lead for Health Quality Ontario.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 29 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

St. Michael’s Hospital with Providence Healthcare and St. Joseph’s Health Centre now operate under one corporate entity as of August 1, 2017. United, the three organizations serve patients, residents and clients across the full spectrum of care, spanning primary care, secondary community care, tertiary and quaternary care services to post-acute through rehabilitation, palliative care and long-term care, while investing in world-class research and education.

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