SAS, a leader in business intelligence software, will be teaming up with Alabama University and Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Health System in an effort to improve patient care.

SAS is sponsoring a pilot study that will be conducted by University of Alabama MBA students, who will use SAS data and text mining solutions to examine 12 thousand of the 7 million records in UAB Health System’s patient database.

Leaders of the cooperative effort are Jerry Oglesby, director of SAS Higher Education Consulting; Mike Hardin, Ph.D., a SAS Alliance Partner and director of the University of Alabama Institute of Business Intelligence, Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration; and Joan Hicks, chief information officer of UAB Health System.

“We plan to use this study to develop an early-warning system that supports physicians,” Hardin said. “Physicians see patients and provide dictation in electronic format along with clinical encounter notes and other textual information. We seek a way to combine information from medical transcriptions with lab results and other numerical data to create a full picture of patient health and to help our physicians make better clinically based decisions.”