The AHNS database committee is initiating an effort to set the stage for collaborative multi-institutional studies among members of the society. As you know, the AHNS has endorsed “Otobase”, a clinical information database that was developed by Dr. Marc Coltrera, and is currently being used by many of you. This database provides an excellent opportunity for society members to share their experience and answer critical clinical questions, which cannot be answered by the experience of any single institution alone. We are excited about the potential that the AHNS has in achieving this critical and long overdue task.
We are inviting you to participate in this exciting project. A simple questionnaire is attached to solicit your interest in one or more of suggested initial study focus areas. You can also suggest different area(s) that you may be interested in studying. Once we have your responses, the AHNS database committee will coordinate study “groups” or teams. The database committee will also assist these groups of collaborators in coordinating study design, data collection and reporting, and several regulatory issues such as IRB submissions, HIPAA regulations, authorship, etc.
We look forward to your participation in this research effort that will not only advance our specialty, but also improve the care we provide to our patients. We welcome any suggestions or input you have and look forward to collaborating with you.
Ehab Hanna, MD, FACS
Chair, AHNS Database Committee
This is an outline of the AHNS database committee plans and efforts to launch collaborative multiinstitutional studies within the framework of the society.
An updated version “Otobase 3.2.0” was just released. It is now available for FTP downloading by all registered users.
A simple questionnaire was designed to poll the participants on their particular areas of interest, and is incorporated in the “Otobase” section of AHNS new website.
Based on the responses from the participants, form study “groups” or teams of collaborators for various areas of study.
The committee took initiative in suggesting some initial study areas. These may fall into two categories:
Disease entities that are so common in our everyday practice but still have some critical questions to be answered. Examples of such areas include early glottic cancer, and selective neck dissection in the N1/N2 neck.
Disease entities that are so rare that pooled data is necessary to achieve adequately powered studies and draw any meaningful conclusions. Examples of such areas include adenoid cystic carcinoma, esthesioneuroblastoma, ethmoid cancer, etc.
Increase the utilization of the AHNS website as a platform for communication and discussion among study groups.
Begin discussions about how to best handle some obvious hurdles. These include regulatory issues such as IRBs, HIPPA, and other concerns governing human subjects research.
We are excited about the potential our society has in this area and we think it is a great opportunity for us to get a long overdue task done. Please let us know if you have any thoughts or suggestions. We welcome your input in this regard.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this effort.
Ehab Hanna, MD, FACS
Chairman, AHNS Database Committee