Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Research Assistant – Information School

Research Assistant – Medical Records Analysis & Retrieval
University of Washington Information School

Position Title: Research Assistant

Anticipated Start Date
: September 16, 2008
End Date: September 15, 2009


VA Met Park (Seattle downtown) and Information School, Mary Gates Hall

Position Description
We are seeking a highly motivated individual to serve as a Research Assistant to the “Medical Records Analysis and Retrieval” project within the “Assessing Information Value in Computerized Patient Care Documentation Systems” study. Under the general guidance of Co-PI Dr. Efthimiadis and PI Dr. Hammond, the RA will be responsible for research, design, development, testing and maintenance of information systems of a highly complex nature for this study.

Computerized patient care documents (CPD), consisting of progress notes, summaries, and reports documenting medical care are a key part of modern computerized health care information systems. On-line documents are more accessible and legible than paper records, but the transition to computer systems has introduced new challenges. Computerized documents differ from traditional documents: document writers may copy text from other documents; ancillary data is frequently inserted automatically; and templates assisting text entry introduce boilerplate text. Shortcuts aid writing documents but often result in poor readability and reduce the value of on-line documentation. Copying can propagate errors and obscure the original source of information. Data overload is a significant problem: Nationally, Veterans Administration (VA) systems currently store over 700 million patient documents. Individual charts may contain hundreds of documents. Computerized medical record users can be hard pressed to find the specific information they need amid a flood of potentially useful information, because the time available to retrieve information from documentation is constrained.

Improved patient records will benefit patients, practitioners, and anyone else who uses medical records. The objective of this part of the research project is to analyze and characterize a large dataset of medical records using information retrieval, language modeling, text classification and mining, and natural language approaches.

For additional information on this project please contact Dr. Efthimis Efthimiadis (efthimis@washington.edu) or Dr. Ken Hammond (Kenric.Hammond@va.gov).

Job Description
Design and implement components of the “Medical Records Analysis and Retrieval” project. Research and apply methods for the programming of text mining and retrieval algorithms in the 18 million document collection.Develop interface programming among the systems used.Create and maintain a simulator and interfaces for administering online surveys and analyzing the responses. Aid in the design and implementation of experiments to evaluate the above technologies; collaborate in writing research papers for publication on these experiments. Collaborate with and support other members of the team.Perform programming with clear documentation of all modules. Ensure backup procedures are in place and functioning smoothly. Follow standard practice for programming, configuration control, and quality assurance.Maintain and provide system developer and end user documentation for continuation of work by others.

This position will average 20 hours per week.

Required Qualifications
BA in Computer or Information Science, Computational Linguistics, Medical Informatics or related fieldExperience in one or more of the following fields: Information Retrieval, Natural Language Processing, Language Modeling, Text Mining, and/or Machine LearningFamiliarity with text retrieval software (e.g., Lucene)Database management using SQL server in a Windows environmentExperience in managing software projects Excellent programming skills, preferably in JavaExcellent communication and organization skillsSelf-motivated with the ability to take initiative and work independently

Other Requirements

The project must comply with confidentiality requirements of Human Subjects and HIPAA regulations at all times. Successful Candidate will be required to complete the following immediately upon hire:
Complete the UW Human Subjects training: www.washington.edu/research/hsd/training.htmlAdhere to HIPAA regulations: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa

This position is open to all University of Washington students. Undergraduate students will be compensated at a competitive hourly rate DOE. Masters level students are eligible for tuition waiver and benefits (percentage of tuition covered is dependent upon the program the student is enrolled in). Questions regarding salary and benefits should be directed to Crystal Yost, Human Resources Coordinator crystaly@washington.edu. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of 10 credits each quarter to be eligible.

To apply
1.Please include a cover letter describing your skills and experiences relevant to the position.
2.Attach a current resume that includes your work history and academic accomplishments.

Please submit all application materials to iApply@washington.edu (please include “RA – VA Project” in the subject line) or to Mary Gates Hall, Suite 370, no later than noon on June 30th. All candidates will be contacted within two weeks of the closing date.

Note: This job classification is governed by a negotiated labor contract and is subject to union shop provisions. For more information about union shop provisions, visit: www.washington.edu/admin/hr/jobs/apl/union-info.html

The University of Washington is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and covered veterans are encouraged to apply.
*Please Note: This position is pending final approval of funding