Kidney Health Research Institute (KHRI)
Kidney disease affects one in every seven adults, and is associated with diminished quality of life and excessive morbidity and mortality. Geisinger Kidney Health Research Institute (KHRI) is dedicated to decreasing the burden of kidney disease through a clinic-based, patient-oriented research program leveraging several system-level assets at Geisinger. Below are key features of research at the KHRI:
Patient-Centered Focus in the Clinical Setting
KHRI focuses its research efforts on objectives and outcomes important to our patients. Patient-reported data collection is being directly integrated with clinical care in order to enhance and inform comparative effectiveness studies designed to improve quality of life and decrease complications of kidney disease. The structure of KHRI is designed to enhance its capabilities as a micro-Learning Healthcare System, defined by the Institute of Medicine as "…one in which progress in science, informatics and care culture align to generate new knowledge as an ongoing, natural by-product of the care experience, and seamlessly refine and deliver best practices for continuous improvement in health and healthcare." The KHRI aims to seamlessly integrate patient-reported information with clinical data, delivering actionable knowledge and improving clinical care.
Multi-Dimensional Research Resources
Complementing the patient-reported data collection in the clinic are several large, Geisinger-wide resources. These include a comprehensive, enterprise-level data warehouse (electronic health record data since 1996), claims data through Geisinger Health Plan and genetic information with bio-banked blood samples via a system-wide project (MyCode established in 2007). More than 113,000 patients (~3,000 with kidney disease at baseline) have been consented for MyCode and have bio-banked blood samples.
Capacity for Longitudinal Study
Kidney disease and its complications typically require many years to develop and progress. The KHRI effort benefits from Geisinger's low, one percent annual out-migration rate. The KHRI sees patients from across the region, covering extensive portions of central and northeast Pennsylvania and northern Maryland (2.6 million people in 44 counties). Together, this degree of stability and longitudinal follow-up allows for robust investigations into disease development, progression and outcomes.
Active areas of research include the following:
- Examining the burden of kidney disease and its complications, learn more
- Health literacy and outcomes, learn more
- Obesity, diet quality, and kidney disease, learn more
- Patient centered care, learn more
- Kidney Health Advisory Council, learn more
- Lester H Kirchner, PhD
- Amanda Young, MS
Research Support Staff
- Christina Yule, BS, Project Manager
- Elisabeth Graboski, BS, Senior Research Assistant
- Sara Kwiecien, BA, Research Assistant
- Waleed Zafar, ScD., Post Doc Research Fellow
KHRI researchers are engaged in projects with other health services researchers, social scientists, dietitians, biostatisticians, informaticists, health economists and geneticists at Geisinger's research institutes and centers.