The first RAPiDS grant cycle, which launched in August, brought teams across UF Health and the College of Medicine together to test a secure data and computing resource remotely accessible by authorized clinical and research teams. The resource, called ALPS — AI Labs for Patient Safety — aims to create an integrated infrastructure and safe space for sensitive analytics, becoming a common place where data coexists in the same spot as a computer capable of handling the data. ALPS also develops the ideal workflows promoting teamwork across such a wide array of disciplines. Another initiative under the value pillar of the strategic plan, ALPS is a collaboration among the College of Medicine, UF Health Shands and UF Research Computing.
“We are forging collaborative connections with the hospital throughout this process,” said Liliana Bell, M.H.A., P.M.P., a senior project manager in the Office of the Dean. “We are seeing success because we are building on the experience and knowledge of teams across the health system and we’re all coming together. It’s an iterative cycle through which we are learning as we go and going as we learn.”
The goal of ALPS is to create the infrastructure for clinicians and others across the health system to access and compute data, using AI processes to facilitate quality improvement in patient safety. Harnessing this tool, clinicians can create a picture of how care is provided and what the health care experience looks like and can also leverage geospatial data that reflect some aspects of social determinants of health to improve outcomes.
Through RAPiDS, which will move into its second cycle in winter/spring, teams can use ALPS to collaborate across disciplines to bring their QI ideas to life at a system level. The ultimate goal of both initiatives is to bring those with clinical expertise and those with data analytics, statistics and technical expertise together to analyze data using AI to improve outcomes.
“Comprehensive data profiles of the patients, clinics and health systems are critical for AI to work,” said Jiang Bian, Ph.D., a professor in the department of health outcomes and biomedical informatics and chief data scientist at UF Health.
The current infrastructure of ALPS is hosted by ResVault, a robust and secure platform used by UF that can handle millions of data elements and meets all Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, compliance requirements. Users must complete a rigorous checklist of access requirements, including Institutional Review Board and ResVault training. Only authorized users can put data into the system and run analyses, and no users are permitted to download data or reports.
“Collaboration between the hospital, the health science colleges and Information Technology is crucial for driving innovation and improving clinical processes through the use of AI,” said Gigi Lipori, M.T., M.B.A., UF Health chief information officer and senior vice president. “By bringing together experts from diverse disciplines, we can leverage the power of AI to find solutions to quality improvement challenges and enhance patient safety.”
As clinicians move through the Advanced Training Program, another initiative under the value pillar of the strategic plan, with a focus on outcomes-driven practice, RAPiDS and ALPS are outlets through which they can take their ideas for quality improvement and patient safety from a light-bulb moment to a real-world solution.
“It’s inspiring to work with such incredible people who are moving outside their comfort zones and doing it with such excitement,” Tighe said. “And it’s cool to learn from the work of amazing folks who have been doing AI work at UF for years. The chance to extend this in a different direction in the QI space is really exciting because it hasn’t been done before. It’s audacious, and with the support of the dean and college, I truly believe that UF is the place to do these kinds of things.”