Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Memoriam: Dr. Homer R. Warner, 1922 - 2012

We at the Homer Warner Center for Informatics Research are saddened at the passing of Dr. Homer R. Warner, our founder, our mentor, our colleague, and our friend. Dr. Warner passed away in Salt Lake City on November 30, 2012 due to complications of pancreatitis.

The groundbreaking work done by Dr. Warner and his team in the use of computers in medicine led to the creation of one of the first computer-based electronic medical record systems in the world, Intermountain Healthcare's HELP system, which is still in use today. Dr. Warner also established the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah School of Medicine, where many team members of the Homer Warner Center are currently serving as faculty members and graduate students.

Dr. Warner's unassuming style, inquisitive and generous nature, and brilliant mind have been and will continue to be an inspiration to all of us here at the Homer Warner Center. He will be greatly missed.

Our thoughts are with all members of Dr. Warner's family.

Bust of Dr. Homer Warner located at the
Homer Warner Center in Salt Lake City, Utah

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

HWCIR Receives "Best Hospital IT Department" Honor for Second Year in a Row

The HWCIR is honored to be the recipient of Healthcare IT News' "Best Hospital IT Department" award:

It's our second year in a row that we've received this award. We appreciate this great honor and hope to continue to provide outstanding service to the clinicians and patients of Intermountain Healthcare as well as a great workplace for our team.

Monday, August 6, 2012

New Clinical Element Model Browser Now Available

Research engineers and medical informaticists at the HWCIR have created a new Clinical Element Model (CEM) browser. The CEM browser shows graphical, CDL (Constraint Definition Language) and XSD (XML schema definition) views of the Intermountain Healthcare/GE Healthcare Caradigm Clinical Element Models. The CEM browser is now available for use at

Four folders (or releases) of CEMs are available at the site:
  • Active, consisting of models currently in use by a product/project (currently, two products/projects are using CEMs – the GE/Caradigm product, and the SHARP grant project)
  • Proposed, consisting of models not yet in use by a product/project
  • Caradigm, consisting of models in use by the GE/Caradigm product
  • SHARP, consisting of models in use by the Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Project
A user guide is also available at

Future enhancements and monthly releases are planned. Please send any comments, questions or feedback about the CEM browser to

CDL view in CEM browser
Tree view in CEM browser

Friday, July 20, 2012

IT Solutions for Intermountain BioRepository

The HWCIR is helping the Intermountain Healthcare BioRepository team with innovative IT solutions to assist with biospecimen analysis, tracking, annotation, and inventory management.

The BioRespository team, located on the Intermountain LDS Hospital campus in Salt Lake City, Utah, has one of the largest repositories of paraffin tissue blocks in the Western United States. Cancer researchers have been able to use the tissue blocks collected at Intermountain over the last 25 years to evaluate for genetic aberrations which may play a role in cancer development or predisposistion. The BioRepository team also has the ability to safely store and track fresh frozen tissue samples. DNA and RNA extracted from the fresh frozen tissue samples are helping clinicians and researchers analyze genetic profiles of many diseases and the phenotypic outcomes of diseased tissue.

Paraffin tissue block
Informaticists and software engineers from the HWCIR have supplied the BioRepository team with tools to assist in consent tracking and clinical study data capture. In conjunction with the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) community, the HWCIR has also provided the implementation and training of caBIG’s caTissue Suite, an open-source biorespository software tracking tool used to manage the collection, storage, and supervision of biospecimens.

Monday, June 18, 2012

SIIM 2012

The HWCIR recently participated in a conference presented by the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM). The SIIM 2012 Annual Meeting was held June 7-10, 2012 in Orlando, Florida (

Presenting at the meeting was Jeffrey Ferraro, PhD, from the HWCIR. Jeffrey, along with Scott DuVall, PhD, from the University of Utah School of Medicine, led a presentation, demonstration and discussion entitled "Practical Natural Language Processing -- Harvesting the Low Hanging Fruit." The session, designed specifically for radiologists, administrators and researchers, covered the capabilities and limitations of Natural Language Processing (NLP) on radiology reports and other clinical documents. They discussed and demonstrated available methods for extracting information from reports, mapping concepts to standards, and using text as input to statistical and machine learning models.

SIIM is dedicated to the advancement of medical imaging informatics through both research and education. More information about SIIM can be found on their website at

Friday, June 15, 2012

New Ways to Connect with HWCIR

The Homer Warner Center is now on Facebook and Twitter.

Like us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Care Connectivity Consortium IT Workgroup

The HWCIR was the host site for meetings this week with the IT workgroup of the Care Connectivity Consortium (CCC). During the week, the CCC IT workgroup continued their efforts to provide enhanced data sharing capabilities among different healthcare providers and patients.

The HWCIR and Intermountain Healthcare are proud to participate in the CCC. The Consortium's mission is to create methods to safely and securely exchange patient health information among disparate electronic health record systems across the United States. Formed in 2011, the CCC consists of Intermountain Healthcare, Geisinger Health System (based in Pennsylvania), Group Health Cooperative (based in Washington), Kaiser Permanente (based in California) and Mayo Clinic (based in Minnesota). All five organizations currently participating in the CCC share the belief that electronic medical information is one of the most important care support tools available in healthcare today.