What FARI Means to me, by Robert Smith, PhD

Sep 20, 2017

What FARI means to me

by Robert Smith, PhD

The Florence A. Rothman Institute (FARI) is hyper-collegial. A formal “mind-share” conference occurs at least weekly, but frequently 1 v 1 or small group sessions spontaneously occur in a corridor, office doorway, office, or via video conference. At FARI synergy is palpable. The FARI mission is to improve healthcare delivery by performing and supporting research to develop and utilize innovative techniques for analysis of data within electronic medical records (EMR).

Our data science methods unpack the information and knowledge emerging from the “natural experiment” of everyday medical care documented in the EMR. Aim is to gain as much knowledge as possible from every patient encounter to advance understanding of care delivery and outcomes. The “small-data” captured for individual patients coalesced in EMR produces the “big-data” of health systems. Secondary analyses of these data provide knowledge that impacts both Individual and population health. Goal is to develop and extend analytic approaches to catalyze continuous learning by health systems and practice quality improvement. For me, working at FARI is the consummate capstone. I came to FARI after retiring from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Before working 10-years at the NIH, I was privileged to direct clinical research in anesthesiology, critical care medicine and pain medicine at Tulane University (4Y), University of Florida-Jacksonville Health Education Program (8Y) and University of South Florida (15Y). My Ph.D. degree was earned at the University of Florida and I am a Fellow in the College of Critical Medicine.