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1.  IAIMS development at Baylor College of Medicine. 
At Baylor College of Medicine, we are developing the technical and intellectual resources needed to realize the Integrated Academic Information Management System (IAIMS) concept fully. The substantial technical, organizational, and financial commitments involved demand that we align our efforts with the strategic purposes of the college. The support of science, therefore, has become the principal, but not exclusive, focus of Baylor's IAIMS effort. Even so, the information technology architecture we have created for biomedical research is proving valuable in other settings as well. And the infrastructure we are creating--the communications architecture and the linkages to information resources--serves many purposes in addition to those of research. The architecture accommodates a diversity of workstations, networks, and informational and computational servers. This will be the greatest possible chance of transferring the fruits of our Phase III development to other academic medical centers.
PMCID: PMC225664  PMID: 1326367
2.  The MEDLINE Retriever. 
Baylor College of Medicine has developed the MEDLINE Retriever, a tool to query MEDLINE, the data-base of medical literature at the National Library of Medicine. The MEDLINE Retriever communicates via the Internet to achieve excellent response time for MEDLINE queries. It uses the X Window System and the Motif toolkit, and employs the Knowbot Operating Environment developed by the Corporation for National Research Initiatives. We discuss the architecture of the MEDLINE Retriever, focusing on the graphical user interface that we have developed, as well as our experiences in developing and deploying the MEDLINE Retriever at Baylor. The MEDLINE Retriever is an extension of Baylor's IAIMS design concept that brought forth the Virtual Notebook System, and fits well with Baylor's aims with regard to the High Performance Computing Initiative.
PMCID: PMC2248138  PMID: 1482920
3.  Using Hypertext to Facilitate Information Sharing in Biomedical Research Groups 
As part of our effort to create an Integrated Academic Information Management System at Baylor College of Medicine, we are developing information technology to support the efforts of scientific work groups. Many of our ideas in this regard are embodied in a system called the Virtual Notebook which is intended to facilitate information sharing and management in such groups. Here we discuss the foundations of that system - a hypertext system that we have developed using a relational data base and the distributable interface the we have written in the X Window System.
PMCID: PMC2245694
4.  IAIMS: An Interview with Dick West 
Richard T. West, IAIMS (Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems) Program Officer at the National Library of Medicine for 13 years, reflects on the origin, development, effectiveness, and future of IAIMS efforts. He dwells on the changes that have taken place as the concept of IAIMS has evolved from a technology-based to an organization-based level of integration. The role of IAIMS in patient care, education, and research is discussed, along with the role of the librarian in the implementation of IAIMS programs. He sees a need for training for librarians, informaticians, and others in preparation for these efforts and for the development of academic reward systems that encourage them. He expresses a desire for those working in information technology in hospitals to gain a clearer understanding of IAIMS, because the concept fits hospitals as well as academic health science centers. He exhorts informaticians to bring to reality the futuristic fantasies of a new information world.
PMCID: PMC61388  PMID: 10579603
5.  The impact of IAIMS at Georgetown: strategies and outcomes. 
Integration of multiple information systems of a medical center will change the way physicians work and practice medicine in the future. Several major steps must be taken by an institution to make this a reality. Since 1983, Georgetown has been engaged in an Integrated Academic Information Management System (IAIMS) project to bring together multiple sources of information that reside on different computers and database systems. Georgetown is developing a Biotechnology and Biomedical Knowledge Network that includes informational and clinical databases, scholar workstations, instruction on computer use, a campuswide network with local area network nodes, and a modular approach to systems integration. The IAIMS project, spearheaded by the medical library, has enabled a broad spectrum of health professionals to benefit directly from new, dynamic information services. The network is heavily used; in 1991, more than 2,100 individual users conducted more than 148,500 computer functions and more than 104,000 searches. There is economy of scale in high-volume use. Overall, the average search cost is $1.57; for high use databases the cost is $0.38, and for low use, it is $9.41. As described in this paper, IAIMS offers a cost-effective means of enhancing patient care by improving information services to physicians. At Georgetown, IAIMS has advanced the concept of integration, accelerated use of computers in education, increased user acceptance of advanced technologies, and established cost factors for providing information resources. While progress made in improving the transfer of medical information is impressive, it is clear that IAIMS requires several more years of support to achieve full implementation.
PMCID: PMC225666  PMID: 1326369
6.  The Evolution of the IAIMS 
The Integrated Academic (Advanced) Information Management System (IAIMS) initiative emerged in the early 1980s to respond to trends in biomedical information, transfer and access, and to identify the implications for health sciences libraries. Three recurrent themes have emerged as being essential to the creation of IAIMSs : changing the paradigm ; redirecting expenditures to build reuseable infrastructure ; and working across cultural boundaries. An IAIMS penetrates an organization in four stages : from creating awareness ; through development of foundation infrastructure ; through integration as an extra effort ; to integration as a byproduct of organizational structure and information architecture. Extension of the IAIMS to support a regional area is a natural fifth stage that reapplies the processes of the first four stages and re-reuses the infrastructure that has been built within the cooperating organizations. Area IAIMSs have the potential to transform biomedicine by enabling new paradigms for manpower development and publication of information.
PMCID: PMC61483  PMID: 9067882
7.  University of Cincinnati Medical Center: integrating information. 
The University of Cincinnati Medical Center has combined five existing units into a new organization responsible for initiating an Integrated Academic Information Management System (IAIMS). This new organization, Medical Center Information and Communications, was reorganized into nine departments, which now provide a variety of information services. Ultimate goals for IAIMS include a patient-centered database, a decision-support system, and a knowledge network. The IAIMS prototype, currently under development for the University of Cincinnati Hospital's Internal Medicine Service, consists of components representative of the IAIMS model's ultimate goals. A major premise of this IAIMS effort is that it is patient-centered.
PMCID: PMC227114  PMID: 3416099
8.  A fast track to IAIMS: the Vanderbilt University strategy. 
In July 1991, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) initiated a fast track approach to the implementation of an Integrated Academic Information Management System (IAIMS). The fast track approach has four elements: 1) an integrated organizational structure combining various operational information management units and the academic informatics program into a single entity to enhance efficiency; 2) technology transfer and network access to remote resources in preference to de novo development; 3) parallel IAIMS planning and infrastructure construction; 4) restriction of the scope of the initial IAIMS to permit a manageable implementation project. The fast track approach is intended to provide a truly functional IAIMS within a time period (7 years) associated with other major construction projects such as the building of a replacement hospital.
PMCID: PMC2248037  PMID: 1336415
9.  The impact of IAIMS on the work of information experts. Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems. 
Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems (IAIMS) programs differ but have certain characteristics in common. Technological and organizational integration are universal goals. As integration takes place, what happens to those implementing the vision? A survey of 125 staff members, or information experts, involved in information or informatics at an IAIMS-funded institution was conducted during the last year of the implementation phase. The purpose was to measure the impact of IAIMS on the jobs of those in the library and related service units, and the computing, telecommunications, and health informatics divisions. The researchers used newly developed scales measuring levels of integration (knowledge of and involvement with other departments), customer orientation (focus on the user), and informatedness (changes in the nature of work beyond automation of former routines). Ninety-four percent of respondents indicated that their jobs had changed a great deal; the changes were similar regardless of division. To further investigate the impact of IAIMS on librarians in particular, a separate skills survey was conducted. The IAIMS librarians indicated that technology and training skills are especially needed in the new, integrated environment.
PMCID: PMC226064  PMID: 8547905
10.  A planning process for a fast track to IAIMS. 
The strategic planning process that is part of Vanderbilt University's fast track to IAIMS is evolving based on feedback from the process itself. Led by a committee of VUMC's top management, broad-based sub-committees for administration, education, patient care, and research worked initially on the following strategic issues: identifying key external pressures that constrain and provide opportunities, visioning how VUMC might operate in the future, and establishing a mission and high-level goals for information management. Next steps include identifying the critical mass of function that will prompt daily use of the IAIMS by everyone at VUMC and adding groups to focus on information and technology architectures and developing academic informatics. This manuscript gives detailed, practical information about the evolution of the planning process, committees' responsibilities, working relationships, and lessons learned.
PMCID: PMC2850636  PMID: 8130533
11.  Indianapolis I3: the third generation Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems* 
In 2001, the Regenstrief Institute for Health Care and the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) began an IAIMS planning effort to create a vision and a tactical plan for the first Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems (IAIMS) implementation to cross a large area and include unaffiliated institutions. A number of elements made this planning effort unique. Among these elements were the existence of a network infrastructure that supported the Indianapolis Network for Patient Care, the existence of a mature medical informatics program at the Regenstrief Institute, and the existence of a wide-area knowledge network fostered by the IUSM libraries. However, the leadership for a strong information technology role in the IUSM that could promote collaboration in support of education and research across the diverse Indianapolis hospital systems had been lacking. By bringing together various groups, each with a commitment to improve health care quality and public health across the Indianapolis metropolitan area, regardless of individual institutional affiliation, the strategic directions for I3–Indianapolis IAIMS Initiative have been defined and the foundations for a third generation IAIMS construct have been laid in Indianapolis, Indiana.
PMCID: PMC385298  PMID: 15098046
12.  Beyond the library: IAIMS at Georgetown University. 
The strategic planning process and the pilot phase projects undertaken by Georgetown University for an Integrated Academic Information Management System (IAIMS) are described. Emphasis is placed on core services such as a local area network, an academic information management center in the library, and expansion of health sciences databases for improved access to biomedical information. Special applications in education and clinical care are highlighted. The library, a key to IAIMS activities, has emerged in a leadership role at Georgetown.
PMCID: PMC227843  PMID: 3527312
13.  Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems: a twenty-year history at the University of Cincinnati* 
The University of Cincinnati (UC) has been active in the National Library of Medicine's Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems (IAIMS) program since IAIMS' inception in 1984. UC received IAIMS planning and modeling grants in the 1980s, spent the 1990s practicing its own form of “iaims” and refining its vision, and, in May 2003, received an IAIMS operations grant in the first round of awards under “the next generation” program. This paper discusses the history of IAIMS at UC and describes the goals, methods, and strategies of the current IAIMS program. The goals of UC's IAIMS program are to: improve teaching effectiveness by improving the assessment of health professional students and residents in laboratory and clinical teaching and learning environments; improve the ability of researchers, educators, and students to acquire and apply the knowledge required to be more productive in genomic research and education; and increase the productivity of researchers and administrators in the pre-award, post-award, and compliance phases of the research lifecycle.
PMCID: PMC385297  PMID: 15098045
14.  Aspects of IAIMS Implementation That Require Further Research 
The Integrated Advanced Information Management System (IAIMS) program promotes an integrated approach to information management within a medical center. Since the IAIMS program was conceived, many of the initial IAIMS technologic needs have been quite widely achieved or are planned for implementation in many medical centers. At the same time, the IAIMS frontier is being steadily pushed to new issues that need to be addressed to achieve the full power of the IAIMS vision. The paper discusses 1) levels of integration where IAIMS has been successfully pursued to date and 2) challenging areas in which research is required to approach the full potential of the IAIMS in the future.
PMCID: PMC61492  PMID: 9067888
15.  ACOGQUEST: the model phase of the IAIMS project of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 
In 1990, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) became the first national organization to receive a model phase Integrated Academic Information Management System (IAIMS) grant from the National Library of Medicine. The goal of the ACOG model phase project is to develop and test a prototype for an integrated system that will meet the needs of ACOG and NAACOG members in patient care, research, education, and administrative information. The model phase goal will be accomplished primarily through ACOGQUEST, an integrated approach to providing accurate, current, quality-filtered information to ACOG and NAACOG members in a variety of formats. Another method of information dissemination now being tested is a heuristic-based patient management database, which will include a concise, interactive display of ACOG-reviewed information that can be incorporated into patient records.
PMCID: PMC225667  PMID: 1326370
16.  Microcosm to Cosmos: The Growth of a Divisional Computer Network 
In 1982, we reported the deployment of a network of microcomputers in the Division of Gastroenterology[1]. This network was based upon Corvus Systems Omninet®. Corvus was one of the very first firms to offer networking products for PC's. This PC development occurred coincident with the planning phase of the Johns Hopkins Hospital's multisegment ethernet project. A rich communications infra-structure is now in place at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions[2,3]. Shortly after the hospital development under the direction of the Operational and Clinical Systems Division (OCS) development began, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine began an Integrated Academic Information Management Systems (IAIMS) planning effort. We now present a model that uses aspects of all three planning efforts (PC networks, Hospital Information Systems & IAIMS) to build a divisional computing facility. This facility is viewed as a terminal leaf on then institutional network diagram. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that this leaf, the divisional resource in the Division of Gastroenterology (GASNET), has a rich substructure and functionality of its own, perhaps revealing the recursive nature of network architecture. The current status, design and function of the GASNET computational facility is discussed. Among the major positive aspects of this design are the sharing and centralization of MS-DOS software, the high-speed DOS/Unix link that makes available most of the our institution's computing resources.
PMCID: PMC2245035
17.  Future programs at the National Library of Medicine. 
The future of the National Library of Medicine will be shaped by a number of scientific, technical, and social influences. Among these are the continuing rapid development of computer technology and storage systems. Artificial intelligence techniques, factual databases, the emergence of medical informatics as a formal discipline, and the development of Integrated Academic Information Management Systems (IAIMS) are also important influences on the direction of the library. Public policy issues will influence the future of NLM--among them, sharing of scientific information between nations and the role of federal agencies in dissemination of information domestically. The formal, long-range plan now being prepared for the library by panels of expert advisers will be a guide for future programs and goals.
PMCID: PMC406287  PMID: 3779170
18.  The IAIMS initiative at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. 
With support from the National Library of Medicine, the University of Maryland at Baltimore is creating an Integrated Academic Information Management System (IAIMS) that will serve as a prototype for academic health centers. A campus-wide undertaking, the IAIMS initiative at Maryland is characterized by its functional comprehensiveness and its planning model. The resulting strategic plan is serving as a guide in the ongoing model development within an interdisciplinary Hypertension Center.
PMCID: PMC227844  PMID: 3527313
19.  ProteinTracker: an application for managing protein production and purification 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:224.
Laboratories that produce protein reagents for research and development face the challenge of deciding whether to track batch-related data using simple file based storage mechanisms (e.g. spreadsheets and notebooks), or commit the time and effort to install, configure and maintain a more complex laboratory information management system (LIMS). Managing reagent data stored in files is challenging because files are often copied, moved, and reformatted. Furthermore, there is no simple way to query the data if/when questions arise. Commercial LIMS often include additional modules that may be paid for but not actually used, and often require software expertise to truly customize them for a given environment.
This web-application allows small to medium-sized protein production groups to track data related to plasmid DNA, conditioned media samples (supes), cell lines used for expression, and purified protein information, including method of purification and quality control results. In addition, a request system was added that includes a means of prioritizing requests to help manage the high demand of protein production resources at most organizations. ProteinTracker makes extensive use of existing open-source libraries and is designed to track essential data related to the production and purification of proteins.
ProteinTracker is an open-source web-based application that provides organizations with the ability to track key data involved in the production and purification of proteins and may be modified to meet the specific needs of an organization. The source code and database setup script can be downloaded from This site also contains installation instructions and a user guide. A demonstration version of the application can be viewed at
PMCID: PMC3436699  PMID: 22574679
Protein; Production; Purification; Reagent; Tracking; Prioritization; Web; Application
20.  IAIMS Architecture 
An information system architecture defines the components of a system and the interfaces among the components. A good architecture is essential for creating an Integrated Advanced Information Management System (IAIMS) that works as an integrated whole yet is flexible enough to accommodate many users and roles, multiple applications, changing vendors, evolving user needs, and advancing technology. Modularity and layering promote flexibility by reducing the complexity of a system and by restricting the ways in which components may interact. Enterprise-wide mediation promotes integration by providing message routing, support for standards, dictionary-based code translation, a centralized conceptual data schema, business rule implementation, and consistent access to databases. Several IAIMS sites have adopted a client-server architecture, and some have adopted a three-tiered approach, separating user interface functions, application logic, and repositories.
PMCID: PMC61487  PMID: 9067884
21.  BioSYNTHESIS: Integrating Multiple Databases into a Virtual Database 
BioSYNTHESIS is a front-end retrieval system under development as part of the IAIMS project at Georgetown University. It is designed to achieve system integration of multiple IAIMS databases maintained at Georgetown so they appear as a “virtual database” to users. The aim is to create an integrated system that enables users to easily retrieve information from various databases residing on disparate computers.
The project work has been divided in two phases: BioSYNTHESIS I, development of a single menu to access various databases which reside on different computers; and BioSYNTHESIS II, development of a search component that facilitates complex searching for the user. BioSYNTHESIS I is currently available to users, and BioSYNTHESIS II is in an early stage of development. The design work will continue as a multiyear technical research effort of the Georgetown IAIMS Implementation Project. Plans are to release portions of BioSYNTHESIS II during the project period as components become available.
PMCID: PMC2245609
22.  IAIMS and the library at the University of Utah. 
The formal creation of an Integrated Academic Information Management System (IAIMS) at the University of Utah began in the fall of 1983. The keystone of the IAIMS effort is the HELP hospital information system. IAIMS at the University of Utah is a broad-based program extending across the Health Sciences Center and beyond to health professionals throughout the inter-mountain area. This paper describes the background that led to IAIMS, the IAIMS planning process, and the library's participation in this effort.
PMCID: PMC227841  PMID: 3527310
23.  Regional Health Information Systems 
In general, there is agreement that robust integrated information systems are the foundation for building successful regional health care delivery systems. Integrated Advanced Information Management System (IAIMS) institutions that, over the years, have developed strategies for creating cohesive institutional information systems and services are finding that IAIMS strategies work well in the even more complex regional environment. The key elements of IAIMS planning are described and lessons learned are discussed in the context of regional health information systems developed. The challenges of aligning the various information agencies and agendas in support of a regional health information system are complex ; however, the potential rewards for health care in quality, efficacy, and cost savings are enormous.
PMCID: PMC61491  PMID: 9067887
24.  Building a Virtual Network in a Community Health Research Training Program 
Objective: To describe the experiences, lessons, and implications of building a virtual network as part of a two-year community health research training program in a Canadian province.
Design: An action research field study in which 25 health professionals from 17 health regions participated in a seven-week training course on health policy, management, economics, research methods, data analysis, and computer technology. The participants then returned to their regions to apply the knowledge in different community health research projects. Ongoing faculty consultations and support were provided as needed. Each participant was given a notebook computer with the necessary software, Internet access, and technical support for two years, to access information resources, engage in group problem solving, share ideas and knowledge, and collaborate on projects.
Measurements: Data collected over two years consisted of program documents, records of interviews with participants and staff, meeting notes, computer usage statistics, automated online surveys, computer conference postings, program Web site, and course feedback. The analysis consisted of detailed review and comparison of the data from different sources. NUD*IST was then used to validate earlier study findings.
Results: The ten key lessons are that role clarity, technology vision, implementation staging, protected time, just-in-time training, ongoing facilitation, work integration, participatory design, relationship building, and the demonstration of results are essential ingredients for building a successful network.
Conclusion: This study provides a descriptive model of the processes involved in developing, in the community health setting, virtual networks that can be used as the basis for future research and as a practical guide for managers.
PMCID: PMC61441  PMID: 10887165
25.  Integrating health sciences librarians into biomedicine. 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) developed a model training program to prepare current and future health sciences librarians for roles that are integrated into the diverse fabric of the health care professions. As a complement to the traditional and theoretical aspects of a librarian's education, this mixture of supplemental coursework and intensive practical training emphasizes active management of information, problem-solving skills, learning in context, and direct participation in research, while providing the opportunity for advanced academic pursuits. The practical training will take place under the auspices of an established Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems (IAIMS) library that is fully integrated with the Health Center Information Management Unit and Academic Biomedical Informatics Unit. During the planning phase, investigators are analyzing the model's aims and requirements, concentrating on (a) refining the current understanding of the roles health sciences librarians occupy; (b) developing educational strategies that prepare librarians to fulfill expanded roles; and (c) planning for an evaluation process that will support iterative revision and refinement of the model.
PMCID: PMC226193  PMID: 8913556

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