Yale study named a top-10 innovative project by Clinical Research Forum

A research project led by Yale School of Medicine professor Harlan Krumholz and then-medical student Emily Bucholz has been recognized with a Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award by the Clinical Research (CR) Forum, a national organization of senior researchers and thought leaders from the nation’s leading academic health centers.

The study, “Life expectancy after myocardial infarction, according to hospital performance,” accessed the largest, most comprehensive evaluation of hospital quality: the Cooperative Cardiovascular Project. It found that hospital quality does indeed matter in terms of life expectancy. The article in the New England Journal of Medicine stimulated national conversation about the lifespan cost of poor-quality care and the potential to save years by improving quality.

Winners are chosen based on the degree of innovation and novelty involved in the advancement of science; contribution to the understanding of human disease and/or physiology; and potential impact upon the diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of disease.

The award-winning studies reflect major work being conducted at nearly 60 research institutions and hospitals across the United States, as well as at partner institutions from around the world. 

“This study was one of a portfolio of remarkable publications from Emily’s Ph.D. thesis and represents the type of extraordinary work that our best students can do,” said Krumholz, the Harold H. Hines Jr. Professor of Medicine, director of the Yale Open Data Access Project, and faculty co-director of the Yale Center for Research Computing. This study itself required the development of new methods to quantify the association of high-quality heart attack care with lifelong benefit — and it added impetus to national efforts to improve care, notes Krumholz. 

“The 2017 awardees represent the enormous potential that properly funded research can have on patients and the public,” said Dr. Harry P. Selker, chair of the CR Forum Board of Directors. “It is our hope that the significance of these projects and their outcomes can help educate the public, as well as elected officials, on the important impact of clinical research on human health.” 

Members of the research team will visit congressional representatives on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, April 19 to brief officials on their findings and the critical and necessary role of federal funding for clinical research.

Recognizing the need to celebrate U.S. clinical research accomplishments that involve both innovation and impact on human disease, the Clinical Research Forum conducts an annual competition to determine the 10 outstanding research accomplishments in the United States. These major research advances represent a portion of the annual return on the nation's investment in the health and future welfare of its citizens.