ViPIS Journal Club


 The School of Information Sciences and the University of Pittsburgh’s Health Sciences School have joined together to host the ViPIS Journal Club. ViPIS is the Visual Patient Information Systems Center, which is committed to the incubation of novel visual patient information display systems for the Electronic Health Record (EHR.) ViPIS is one of the signature projects of the Visual Information Systems Center at SIS. The Journal Club is a monthly gathering to review the current literature on Information Visualization, EHR system design and usability testing, ethnographic investigations of EHR users, workflow modeling, and visual design prototypes.

The first monthly meeting of the ViPIS Journal Club was held at 6pm on December 7, 2005 in the SIS Building. This inaugural meeting proved to be a success and featured Melonie Nance presenting life-saving head/neck cancer research through her Data Visualization for Enhanced Medical Outcomes Research, a visual display of UPMC’s Otolaryngology database. The group, comprised of students and faculty from both SIS and the School of Medicine, analyzed Patel and Arocha’s “Cognitive Models of Clinical Reasoning and Conceptual Representation,” which was published in Methods of Information in Medicine. In addition, the group evaluated Edward Tufte’s "Visual and Statistical Thinking: Displays of Evidence for Making Decisions" text book. The Journal Club will convene again on Wednesday, January 18, 2006, at 6 pm in the SIS Building. For more information about the December meeting, please visit

Ken Sochats of VISC and Dr. David Eibling of the University’s Department of Otolaryngology are the leaders of the ViPIS project, which aims to:

  • Reduce medical errors through the application of cognitive engineering concepts to the EHR – Provider interface.
  • Enhance patient comprehension of their personal health record (PHR).
  • Increase consumer and provider acceptance of the EHR through greater ease of understanding, time-on-task efficiency, and global usability of system interfaces.

ViPIS will utilize visual data mining, statistics and analysis, and human factor design and development to bring the potential of the Electronic Health Record to fruition. For more information about ViPIS, visit