Collaborations across disciplines: MU Thyroid Nodule Electronic Database (MU-TNED), a multidisciplinary informatics approach

Thyroid nodules are common findings and thyroid cancer is projected to be one of the leading causes of cancer in women. The EHR includes the necessary data needed to connect clinical research with patient outcomes. The objective for this project was to develop and validate a usable informatics tool for clinicians and researchers to record, analyze, and be able to manipulate the clinical and research data to benefit all collaborators. The tool was specifically designed to enable follow-up in a longitudinal manner to support multiple aspects of research. The informatics tool MU-TNED was designed with a multidisciplinary team including the departments of pathology and anatomical sciences, endocrinology and health informatics to be able to transfer identified and validated clinical information directly from the EHR into a research database based on clinicians and research needs. The research database created has resulted in numerous quality improvement and clinical research studies enabling clinicians as well as researchers to be able to answer important questions on topics such as diagnostic modalities, quality of care and patient outcomes.