System Design and Management

The MIT Master's Program in Engineering and Management

Clinical Knowledge Management at Scale: Fulfilling the Promise of Pervasive Computerized Clinical Decision Support for Providers and Consumers


Roberto A. Rocha
Senior Corporate Manager for Knowledge Management and Clinical Decision Support, Clinical Informatics Research & Development, Partners HealthCare System
Faculty, Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Unprecedented government investments are accelerating the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology, including the widespread utilization of electronic health records by providers and consumers. Major goals of these investments include quality improvements to care delivery, reduction of errors, and decreased costs. Within the context of electronic health records, these far-reaching goals entail pervasive computerized clinical decision support capabilities that ultimately depend on the availability of computer-interpretable clinical knowledge. Sustainable and scalable clinical knowledge engineering efforts are needed to produce the necessary computer-interpretable knowledge; however, most health-care institutions have limited experience with large-scale knowledge management systems. Dr. Rocha will describe important challenges and opportunities for the implementation of knowledge management systems within and across health-care institutions. He will also outline technical and organizational requirements for innovative knowledge engineering tools and describe strategies for their optimal integration with electronic health records. Dr. Rocha will describe the different modalities of clinical decision support and explain the knowledge engineering processes required for producing, implementing, and maintaining computer-interpretable clinical knowledge at scale. Practical details and examples will be drawn from Partners HealthCare and similar health-care systems.

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  • Sloan School of Management
  • School of Engineering
  • Engineering Systems Division

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