Center for HOPE

The University at Buffalo Center for Health Outcomes, Pharmacoinformatics and Epidemiology (HOPE) is the foremost producer and evaluator of the healthcare evidence base, serving local, regional, national, and international partners of the university as well as healthcare providers across the globe. The focus of this effort is on the optimization of pharmacotherapy in underserved populations.

Health Outcomes

The field of health outcomes is concerned with understanding and improving the economic, clinical, and humanistic outcomes of healthcare.

  • Research examining the positive and negative clinical effects of drug exposure.
    A recent study examined the negative effects on the kidney due to exposure to vancomycin, an intravenous antibiotic.  The financial impact of this kidney damage was also assessed.
  • Research examining the effect of healthcare policy on clinical outcomes.
    Ongoing research seeks to understand the safety of medications used to treat seizures.
  • Strategies improving the cost-effectiveness of medication use.
    The Center for HOPE routinely makes recommendations to government agencies that result in improvements in the cost-effectiveness of therapy.
  • Direct patient-focused education to improve health outcomes.
    An ongoing outreach program puts patients and pharmacists together for one-on-one communication and education (called Medication Therapy Management) that is beyond what patients typically receive at their community pharmacy.

Pharmacoinformatics

The field of pharmacoinformatics is concerned with understanding and improving the use of information and information technology as related to the field of pharmacy.

  • Research examining the impact of outreach education programs designed to improve the dissemination of best practices and clinical guidelines.
    An ongoing prescriber education program has led to the publication of “best practices” white papers and one-on-one outreach to prescribers who care for underserved patients.
  • Research to improve the effectiveness of communication between the healthcare payer and healthcare provider.
    An ongoing research project examines the effectiveness of individualized communication from pharmacists to provide a feedback loop to prescribers.
  • Developing a central, shared repository of research databases that can be accessed by multiple researchers as well as providing aid to the researchers as needed.
    Providing this service will improve the ability to conduct research not only for members of the Center for HOPE, but for other researchers as well.
  • Drug information and drug utilization review services.
    Ongoing integration of information technology to improve drug information support for prescribers that care for the underserved.

Epidemiology

Epidemiology is concerned with understanding and improving health-related patterns.

  • Research examining the changing impact of disease and medication use over time.
    A completed study showed that infection with Clostridium difficile in hospitalized patients has increased over the past decades; however, the expansion of treatment, including surgical intervention, has helped to prevent an increase in associated mortality.
  • Research to understand barriers to care experienced by the underserved and to understand how patient preferences in the underserved compare to the rest of the population.
    The Center for HOPE is developing a survey to understand what barriers to pharmacy care the underserved face and to understand what services this population desires so that healthcare organizations may better meet this population’s needs.
  • Assistance in the development of policies to reduce the illness burden in the population.