The Challenge

The mission of the Working Group on Neurocritical Care Informatics is to facilitate the seamless collection and use of data to optimize the management and outcomes of patients in neurocritical care.  Our end point is the creation of a more meaningful medical record (dashboard) that enables precision management of brain injuries.

The brain is the least understood organ in the body and injuries to the brain are multi-faceted and highly complex. Attempts to develop effective therapeutic methods in the past decades have largely failed (Maas AI et al., J Neurotrauma, 2012). This lack of progress is due, in part, to (1) the absence of data to correctly classify brain injured patients into groups where targeted therapy might be most effective and, (2) the lack of data to determine precise endpoints to evaluate new methods. Current neurocritical care units are complex, data-rich environments, where information extraction and consolidated review remain sub-optimal (Schmidt JM et al., Neurocrit Care, 2014). Informatics methods that have been developed remain untested on large populations due to difficulties in scalability.

Our goals are multi-faceted and aim to promote awareness of the benefit to patients and clinicians that would result from a comprehensive approach to the use and integration of data in the neuro ICU: it would promote workflow efficiency and patient safety, it would facilitate timely and effective care and, ultimately, it would improve patient outcomes. Furthermore, we aim to expand the development of tools that extract actionable information from the broad set of physiological and neurological variables being monitored in neuro ICUs. By being presented with integrated, meaningful and interactive information at the point-of-care, care teams will be empowered in their evaluation of the patient’s medical status. Consequently, clinicians will be able to develop more effective and individualized treatments and they will better identify early indicators of worsening conditions in order to act preemptively.

Our mission is achieved by hosting open meetings and by cooperatively developing tools, guidelines and requirements for the creation of easily deployable and scalable data infrastructures in neurocritical care.