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University of Wisconsin

Project MergEHR: Sharing Code Between Primate Centers

Daniel Nicolalde, Ph.D., Senior Information Processing Consultant, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center


LabKey modules provide exceptional functionality for all their clients and users. Last year, Wayne Borum from Oregon National Primate Research Center presented about the work done at their primate center that expanded the EHR module for managing non-human primate health and research records. The original code was developed for Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, and during the last eight years, five National Primate Research Centers have adopted and expanded the system. This mainly involves LabKey developers that have provided support and outcomes for each of the teams at the different primate centers. The ultimate goal is that any improvement developed for any primate center can be shared across all the centers using the LabKey server. This has been possible not without some drawbacks. During every update of the system we commonly find small and some big problems that need to be addressed either by each center or by the LabKey team.

Building on the open source model, we at Wisconsin are collaborating to use the LabKey platform in several ways. We have developed modules that can be used by other centers, such as the PrimateID and the Billing module, which will be able to be used by other centers with some small modifications. The PrimateID was completely developed in house by developers at Wisconsin.This module allows a center to uniquely identify animals within their system and assures those generated PrimateIDs are unique across centers. The Billing module, due to its complexity and importance for other centers, was contracted to be developed by LabKey. The Billing Module has first developed for Oregon Nation Primate Research Center.Based on the success and some similarities between centers, Wisconsin decided to build on top of the original code and make it more generic so that other centers can easily make use of it. During this talk Doctor Nicolalde will highlight how developers across seven primate centers and LabKey staff work together to make this sharing possible and will demonstrate how the PrimateID is used at Wisconsin and other centers.

Speaker Bio: Doctor F. Daniel Nicolalde, holds a PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering. He graduated from University of Wisconsin – Madison while working for Wisconsin National Primate Research Center as the Unit Head of the Informatics and Data Services Unit. Since graduating, the unit has grown and expanded collaborations with other primate centers. He manages all aspects of their LabKey implementation with the help of the center’s IT unit and LabKey staff. His dissertation focused on how to design health technologies with healthy young adults, and he uses these design methodologies to involve end-users at the primate centers to improve how people use LabKey by testing and developing new interfaces to enter data into the system. He also holds a Master in Industrial and System engineering and a BS in Computer Engineering.

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