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How can pooling health record data improve influenza research?

Using a virtual network, VISION, to investigate the risk of flu outcomes and vaccine effectiveness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts studies to determine how well the flu vaccine protects against illness. To answer research questions related to vaccine effectiveness and incidence of flu-related outcomes, larger sample sizes can help provide precise estimates.

A virtual network, known as VISION, brings together sites to efficiently pull electronic health record (EHR) data related to flu vaccine and illness.  It will address gaps in the understanding of the risk of severe influenza virus infection, its complications, and the effectiveness of influenza vaccination.

Westat is serving as the VISION Data Coordinating Center (VISION DCC), in partnership with 7 clinical sites and the DARTNet Institute at the University of Colorado, to collect retrospective EHR data using a common protocol.

Data will be collected through Westat’s integrated central research data warehouse platform. This platform will be integrated with data management and tracking systems allowing Westat to efficiently perform data quality checks, and process and clean the data to provide CDC with analysis-ready datasets.

Information from this study may influence vaccination strategies for high-risk groups that may improve future outcomes for children, elderly adults, and those with high-risk conditions.

Understanding factors that make these groups at higher risk for influenza-associated hospitalization may help in developing and improving prevention and treatment guidelines.

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