University of Minnesota School of Nursing and Optum Labs partner in research to improve patient care

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The University of Minnesota School of Nursing is one of seven new partner organizations nationwide announced today by Optum Labs, a Massachusetts-based health services business.

Optum Labs, the collaborative research and innovation center founded by Optum and Mayo Clinic in 2013, followed by AARP as Founding Consumer Advocacy Organization, today announced the addition of seven new charter partners committed to improving the quality and value of patient care.

These new partners, who represent a broad cross-section of health care stakeholders, are:

  • American Medical Group Association, Alexandria, VA
  • Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
  • Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA
  • Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE), New York, NY
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY
  • Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
  • University of Minnesota School of Nursing, Minneapolis, MN

Optum Labs brings together a community of health care stakeholders dedicated to improving patient care by sharing information assets, technologies, knowledge, tools and scientific expertise. Research is linked to the clinical environment through prototyping and testing in Optum Labs’ and partners’ care settings, with a goal of achieving knowledge that improves health care delivery as well as patient and consumer outcomes.

“These additional charter partners will help Optum Labs accelerate the pace of our innovation, paving the way for exciting new research initiatives that can be directly translated to improvements in patient care,” said Paul Bleicher, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of Optum Labs. “Cross-industry collaboration is vital to the success of our collective research agenda, and these leaders bring important perspectives that will advance our current efforts, and help us embark on new ventures.”

Optum Labs participants including the University of Minnesota School of Nursing will have access to information resources, proprietary analytical tools and scientific expertise to help drive the discovery of new applications, testing of new care pathways and other opportunities to drive innovation in wellness care delivery. 

“The University of Minnesota School of Nursing is at the forefront of advancing the use of data and analytics to improve patient care. With access to the electronic health data from Optum Labs representing more than 140 million lives, we look forward to collaborating with our national and university partners to identify, explore and answer research questions that will lead to better and more consistent evidence-based care," said Connie White Delaney, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the University of Minnesota School of Nursing.
The University of Minnesota School of Nursing will research which nursing interventions may be most effective in reducing hospital readmissions for elderly patients within the new partnership. Long-term interventions for diabetes, effective interventions for reducing infections, and a number of other topics will also be researched.

More than 20 major research initiatives are currently under way at Optum Labs, ranging from studies that compare the effectiveness of various medical devices, and research into how treatment patterns vary across geographic areas, to the most effective approaches to consumer engagement and treatment. Several projects are slated for publication in mid-2014, and will be shared across the industry through academic journals and conference presentations.

“As the founding medical partner of Optum Labs, Mayo Clinic is excited to welcome the fresh insights and perspectives that new partners will bring to this collaboration,” said John Noseworthy, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic. “In addition to having access to large sources of clinical and claims information, all partners will now benefit from the unique viewpoints that others bring as we work to transform health care in the U.S. and truly meet the needs of patients in this country.”