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Francis Y. Lau

Professor

BSc (Alberta), MSc (Alberta), MBA (Alberta), PhD (Alberta)

Dr. Lau is a Professor in the School of Health Information Science at the University of Victoria. Dr. Lau is a PhD graduate in medical informatics specialized in the design, implementation and evaluation of health information systems. He has a diverse background in business, computing and medical sciences, with 14 years of professional experience in the IT industry. Prior to joining the University of Victoria in 2001 he was an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Accounting and MIS in the Business School at the University of Alberta. Dr. Lau's current research foci are in health information system evaluation, clinical vocabularies, and palliative care informatics. He is the recipient of the eHealth Chair funded by CIHR/Infoway to establish an eHealth Observatory to monitor the impact of health information system deployment in Canada.

Research

Palliative Care Informatics Research – Since 2004, Dr. Lau has dedicated a substantial portion of his research effort to establishing a program of clinical informatics research within the domain of hospice palliative and end-of-life (HPEOL) care. He received a 5-year CIHR New Emerging Team grant in Palliative and EOL Care entitled “Overcoming Communication Barriers in EOL Transitions.” This was followed by a 3-year CIHR Partnership in Health System Improvement grant to “enhance access to EOL care through improved survival prediction.” Dr. Lau’s research is to improve HPEOL prognostication by clinicians with easy-to-use prognostic tools and routinely collected assessment data such as symptom distress and functional status. A tangible output to date is the creation of the largest known anonymized Palliative Performance Scale assessment database that can be used to examine survival patterns and dying trajectories of HPEOL patients from different care settings. He is currently leading a consortium of healthcare partner/collaborator organizations in BC, Alberta, Yukon and Ottawa to create a Canadian End-of-life Care Surveillance Team Network funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. For more detail of this surveillance network see: https://hpeol.phsa.ca/

Information System Research and Evaluation Methods – Dr. Lau has made a major contribution to advance the health informatics discipline in health information system (HIS) research and evaluation methods. He is the recipient of the CIHR/Infoway eHealth Chair award responsible for the creation of an eHealth Observatory to monitor the effects of HIS deployment in Canada. This mandate includes the development of rigorous yet pragmatic HIS evaluation models, methods and metrics for use by HIS practitioners and researchers. An example of the output to date is the Benefits Evaluation Framework that has now been adopted by Canada Health Infoway as the overarching Framework to evaluate the impacts of electronic health record (EHR) implementation initiatives across Canada. Another is the recent publication of a meta-synthesis of 50 HIS reviews on the current state of HIS knowledge with recommendations on ways to improve HIS adoption. Dr. Lau’s team has also created a Rapid Response Evaluation Method (RREM) toolkit that can be used to evaluate the adoption/use and impact of HIS. For more detail of the eHealth Observatory see: http://ehealth.uvic.ca/index.php

Adoption/Use and Impact of Health Terminology Standards – Another research area for Dr. Lau is in health information standards, especially with the reference terminology standard SNOMED CT. He was the Canadian representative on the Research and Innovation Committee of the International Health Terminology Standard Development Organization, where he had established an international reputation as one of the handful of terminology researchers in Canada with a focus on SNOMED CT adoption/use and impact issues. Dr. Lau has published scientific papers in SNOMED CT encoding methodologies and adoption/use issues. He has established an emerging research program in standards with the successful completion of a pilot project to explore clinical use of SNOMED CT in Alberta in 2008. He has a small team of research trainees and colleagues where the terminology related work is aligned with palliative and primary care as the clinical domains. Dr. Lau’s current work involves the cleaning and encoding of EMR data to improve its quality in physician offices. For more detail see: http://htg.his.uvic.ca/

Publications

Publications in the last five years

Published refereed papers:

  • Price M, Lau F, Lai J. Measuring EMR adoption: A framework and case study. ElectronicHealthcare 2011;10(1):e25-e30.
  • Lee D, Cornet R, Lau F. Implications of SNOMED CT Versioning, International Journal of Medical Informatics 2011; 80(6):442-53.
  • Tarumi Y, Watanabi S, Quan H, Lau F. Evaluation of the palliative prognostic score (PaP) and routinely collected clinical data in prognostication of survival for patients referred to a palliative care consultation service in an acute care hospital. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2011;42(3):419-31.
  • Lau F, Price M, Keshavjee K. From benefits evaluation to clinical adoption – Making sense of health information system success. Healthcare Quarterly 2011;14(1):39-45.
  • Lau F, Price M, Keshavjee K. From benefits evaluation to clinical adoption – Making sense of health information system success. ElectronicHealthcare 2011;9(4):e11-e17 (reprint).
  • Lau F, Lee D, Quan H, Richards C. An exploratory study to examine the use of SNOMED CT in palliative care. ElectronicHealthcare Online exclusive fall edition 2010.
  • Lau F, Kuziemski C, Price M, Gardner J. A review of systematic reviews on health information system studies. American Journal of Medical Informatics 2010;17:637-45.
  • Lee D, Lau F, Quan H. A method for encoding clinical datasets in SNOMED CT. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2010;53:http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6947/10/53.
  • Martin L, Watanabe S, Fainsinger R, Lau F, Ghosh S, et al. Prognostic factors in patients with advanced cancer: use of the patient generated subjective global assessment in survival prediction. Journal of Clinical Oncology Oct 1, 2010: 4376-4383; published online on August 30, 2010;10.1200/JCO.2009.27.1916.
  • Downing M, Lesperance M, Lau F, Yang J. Survival implications of sudden functional decline as a sentinel event using palliative performance scale. Journal of Palliative Medicine 2010;13(5):549-57.
  • Bassi J, Lau F, Bardal S. Use of information technology in medication reconciliation: A scoping review. Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2010; 44(5):885-97.
  • Lau F. Extending the Infoway benefits evaluation framework for health information systems. Studies in Health Technologies and Informatics 2009; 143:406-13.
  • Lai JK, Lau F, Shaw N. A study of information technology use and implementation of electronic medical record systems in BC medical practices. BC Medical Journal 2009;51(3): 114-21.
  • Lau F, Lee D. An exploratory review of the U.K. SNOMED CT to ICD-10 cross map. Journal of ElectronicHealthcare 2009;7(4): online exclusive.
  • Lau F, Maida V, Downing M, Lesperance M, Karlson N, Kuziemsky C. Use of palliative performance scale for end-of-life prognostication in a palliative medicine consultation service. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management Spring 2009;37(6):965-72.
  • Lau F, Downing M, Lesperance M, Karlson N, Kuziemsky C, Yang J. Using the palliative performance scale to provide meaningful survival estimates. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2009;38(1):134-44.
  • Chatterjee S, Chakraborty S, Sarker S, Lau F. Examining success factors for mobile work in healthcare: a deductive study. Decision Support Systems 2009;46(3):620-33.
  • Ho F, Lau F, Downing M, Lesperance M. A reliability and validity study of the palliative performance scale. BMC Palliative Care 2008; 7:10.
  • Lau F, Bell H, Dean M, Downing M, Lesperance M. Use of the palliative performance scale in survival prediction for terminally ill patients in Western Newfoundland, Canada. Journal of Palliative Care 2008; 24 (4):282-4.
  • Lau F, Yang J. Initial experience in mapping MDS-home care to SNOMED CT. ElectronicHealthcare 2008; 7(2): online exclusive.
  • Maida V, Lau F, Downing M, Yang J. Correlation between braden scale and palliative performance scale in advanced illness. International Wounds Journal 2008;5:585-90.
  • Kuziemsky C, Lau F. A comparative analysis of computer based hospice palliative care datasets in Canada. BMC in Palliative Care 2008; 7:6..
  • Kuziemsky CE, Weber-Jahnke JH, Lau F, Downing M. An interdisciplinary computer-based information tool for palliative care severe pain management. Journal of American Medical Informatics Association 2008;15(3):374-83.
  • Downing M, Lau F, Lesperance M, Karlson N, Shaw J, Kuziemsky C, et al. Meta analysis of survival prediction with Palliative Performance Scale. Journal of Palliative Care 2007;2(4):245-254.
  • Lau F, Cloutier-Fisher D, Kuziemsky C, Black F, Downing M, Borycki E, Ho F. A systematic review on prognostic tools in hospice palliative care. Journal of Palliative Care 2007; 23(2):93-113.
  • Lau F. Distributed graduate education in health informatics for working professionals. International Journal of Medical Informatics 2007;76(5/6):344-50.
  • Downing M, Kuziemsky C, Lesperance M, Lau F. Development and reliability testing of the Victoria bowel performance scale. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2007:34(5):513-22.
  • healthcare: a deductive study. Accepted for publication in Decision Support Systems, Spring 2008.
  • Lau F, Hagens S, Muttitt S. A proposed benefits evaluation framework for health information systems in Canada. HealthcarePapers 2007; 5(3):112-8.
  • Lau F, Hagens S, Muttitt S. A proposed benefits evaluation framework for health information systems in Canada. ElectronicHealthcare 2006; 5(3):112-8.
  • Lau F, Yang J, Pereira J, Daeninck P and Aherne M. A survey of PDA use by palliative medicine practitioners. Journal of Palliative Care. 2006;22(4):267-74.
  • Lau F, Downing M, Lesperance M, Shaw J and Kuziemsky C. Use of the Palliative Performance Scale in End-of-life Prognostication. Journal of Palliative Medicine 2006;9(5):1066-75.
  • Kushniruk A, Lau F, Borycki E and Protti D. Towards an integrative model for health informatics education and research. IMIA Yearbook series 2006.
  • Lau F. A collaborative approach to building capacity in health informatics. ElectronicHealthcare 4(4): 2006.
  • Kuziemsky C, Jahnke J and Lau F. The e-Hospice – Beyond the traditional boundaries of palliative care. Journal of Telematics and Informatics 2006;23(2):117-133.
  • Kuziemsky C, Downing M, Black F and Lau F. A grounded theory approach to palliative care systems design. International Journal of Medical Informatics 2006;76:S141-S148.

Published contributions to a collective work and book chapters:

  • Barbera L, Burge F, Dumont S, Fassbender K, Johnston G, Lau F. Special Topic: End of Life Care, p70-86. In Canadian Cancer Society’s Steering Committee: Canadian Cancer Statistics 2010, Toronto: Canadian Cancer Society, 2010.
  • Lau F, et al. What we know – Managing the knowledge content. Edited by Best A, Clark PI, Leischow SJ, Trochim WMK. National Cancer Institute. Greater than the Sum: Systems Thinking in Tobacco Control. Tobacco Control Monograph No. 18. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. NIH Pub. No. 06-6085, April 2007.
  • Lau F. Informatics and the electronic age. In Molzahn A (ed). Contemporary Nephrology Nursing 2nd Edition, ANNA Publications 2006.
  • Best A, Tenkasi R, Trochim W, Lau F, Holmes B, Huerta T, Moor G, Leischow S and Clark P. Systematic transformational change in tobacco control: An overview of the initiative for the study and implementation of systems. In Casebeer AL, Harrison A and Mark AL (eds). Innovations in Health Care – A Reality Check. Palgrave MacMillan, NY, 2006.

Refereed conference proceedings:

  • Lau F, Hagens S, McDonald D. Effective, Practical Approaches to HIS Evaluation. Pre-conference Workshop. eHealth Conference 2011, May 30, Toronto. Electronic Medical Record Systems. ITCH Conference 2011, Feb 24, Victoria.
  • Lau F, Price M, Sullivan-Taylor P. Promoting Good Practices for Primary Health Care Electronic Medical Record Systems. ITCH Conference 2011, Feb 24, Victoria.
  • Lau F, Lee D. Lessons from SNOMED CT studies by the University of Victoria health terminology group. Infoway Standards Collaborative Fall 2010 Partnership Conference, Nov 16, 2010, Vancouver BC.
  • Hagens S, Lau F. Evaluation as a tool to improve implementation and adoption. Infoway Standards Collaborative Fall 2010 Partnership Conference, Nov 16, 2010, Vancouver BC.
  • Nohr C, Faxvaag A, Lau F. Monitoring the effects of health information systems. 13th World Congress on Medical and Health Informatics; MedInfo 2010, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Lau F, J Patel, Waltrip L. Clinical Transformation Enabled by Information Technology- Panel Session. 10th Annual Health Conference Transformative Changes to Health Care; A Need for Action. Jun28-29, 2010. Kelowna, BC.
  • Price M, Lau F. Rapid Response Evaluation for Physician Office Electronic Medical Records – presentation to the Infoway Clinical Adoption team via Webex, Jun 16, 2010.
  • Lau F, Hagens S. From Benefits Evaluation to Clinical Adoption – An Overview of Concepts, Methods/Tools and Case Studies. eHealth 2010 Pre-conference workshop, Vancouver, May, 2010.
  • Lau F, Price M. Evaluation Approaches for Physician Office Electronic Medical Record Systems. eHealth 2010 Pre-conference workshop, Vancouver, Canada, May 31, 2010.
  • Lau F, Hagens S. Review of Health Information Systems Evaluation Methodologies. eHealth 2009 Pre-conference Workshop, Toronto, Canada. May 31, 2009. 
  • Lau F, Simkus R, Lee D. A methodology for encoding problem lists as SNOMED CT terms in general practice. Accepted by Knowledge Representation – Medicine 2008, International Conference May 31-Jun 2, 2008, Arizona, USA.
  • Lee D, Lau F. Exploratory reverse mapping of ICD-10-CA to SNOMED CT. Acceoted by Knowledge Representation – Medicine 2008, International Conference May 31-Jun 2, 2008, USA.
  • Lau F. Increasing the rigor of health information system studies with systematic review? Proceedings in the 11th International Symposium on Health Information Management Research, Halifax NS, July 14-16, 2006.
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