After recovering all the data I’d collected over my internship last summer,I’ve spent the last two weeks pouring over so many articles…27 to be specific, all relating to the current protocols being used by clinicians who are actively treating patients with opioids against for their chronic pain. The 27 articles I read were experiments that had been conducted by previous researchers on the effects of opioid therapy for chronic pain. Using the data these researchers collected, I tried to see if I would gather a cohort with similar data results using the research data browser tool. I ended up gathering about 12 different cohorts that matched the different opioid medications used by the researchers along with the specific diagnostic procedures they used, ranging from their psychological evaluations, cognitive abilities assessment, neurological examinations, urinal exams, etc…(I’m not sure if I am allowed to display the kind of results I received due to HIPAA regulations, but I am definitely going to try to provide some sort of visual cue to let you in on how the research data browser tool works).
In other news, I started working with a new tool known as UCRex that allows me to compare the data I receive across all the different UC’s, so now not only do I have access to the patients that have been undergoing/underwent opioid therapy at UCSF, SFGH, and ZFGH, but also all the UC’s with medical centers, aka UCLA, UCI, UCD, UCSD, and UCR. The first task I accomplished by using this tool is expanding the data set I collected with RDB over the summer (oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, methiodine along with its respective ICD9/10 codes) to see how many cohorts of patients showed up with similar diagnoses and prescriptions across the different UC’s. I’m still running the data but from the preliminary data scans I’ve observed, there are AT LEAST 300 patients from each UC who have been treated the same, which provides more data for me to go off of to build my final proposed clinical guideline, which all of this data is leading up to.
Side note, but there was an opioid summit at the white house on Thursday which only reinforces the importance of my project and also stresses the overbearing need to bring an end to this opioid abuse epidemic.
‘Til next time,