The recent Health Datapalooza in Washington DC reflected how profoundly data sources and emerging analytics are evolving the fundamental content and delivery of health services. What is possible, how to achieve change and who will provide leadership are all in flux. Some examples include:
- Progress on big technical and operational challenges such as interoperability, telehealth and digital health advice for both patients and clinicians
- Emergence of data science as a valuable source of knowledge and impact on how we build and resource problem solving teams, including the use of emerging methods such as natural language processing and addressing challenges in data quality and extraction
- Increasing realization of prior aspirations such as care personalization and care access outside of bricks and mortar
The pace and magnitude of change reflected at Datapalooza also fosters the urgent need for a ‘go to’ place for guidance about safely and thoroughly translating emerging insights into generalized practice.
I’m pleased that AcademyHealth is committed to respond to this need by building on four years of experience in providing eGEMS as an open access and peer-reviewed journal focused on the use of health data to improve health and health care.
Indeed the eGEMs editorial board has long referred to eGEMs as the place to go for “street knowledge” about this rapidly changing field. As a case in point, the journal has released a new call for papers, open through July 1, that seeks to address some of the fundamental health data issues revealed at Datapalooza. We are currently accepting submissions from researchers working in cutting-edge areas including:
- Increasing health data interoperability
- Emerging lessons from mHealth and telehealth
- Addressing clinical data quality challenges
- Taking advantage of patient reported outcomes for research and care improvement
- Advancing natural language processing
Although there are a wide variety of issues currently facing the field of health services research, the topics listed here are some that we at eGEMs feel are important to disseminate rapidly as valuable contributions to the field. Keeping in tradition with the journal’s contents for the past four years, the topics in the call for papers highlight new and novel approaches for leveraging electronic health data to address issues within the health system, advance health care quality, and improve health outcomes.
To sustain this vehicle beyond its initial time-limited grant funding and extend the contributions of the health data community, we have undertaken several important changes including a new self-sustaining business model and a more modern publishing platform with improved capabilities for authors, editors and readers. We’re also engaging in exciting dialog with key stakeholders about ongoing support for this journal through intellectual and financial commitments. You can read more about the journal’s newest chapter here.
As important as what is changing is what will stay the same – key to the success of eGEMs has been the contributions of the journal’s editorial board. From strategic guidance, vigilance for editorial independence, promotion by word of mouth, active recruitment of papers plus critical review and editorial enhancement of over 180 published papers, these committed editors are the core of the journal. As volunteers, their most tangible reward is seeing tens of thousands of downloads of the work of our authors… and the belief that this leads to the transformation of the way health care is delivered.
Our discipline of health services research is changing… at eGEMs, we will continue to work to ensure that trustworthy insights are readily shared and that emerging data resources and data science capabilities can fulfil their potential to improve health and health care.