Thursday, January 02, 2014

HC&A participates in orthodontics digitization project

Exciting things are happening with the Oregon Child Study Clinic Records, which were transferred from the OHSU School of Dentistry to HC&A last year. During the transfer, we learned about an ongoing grant project funded by the American Association of Orthodontics Foundation. The OCSC collection is one of nine included in the the AAOF Legacy Collection Project, Stage II: Development of a Longitudinal Craniofacial Records Base for Teaching and Research. This is a national project to develop a shared database of images from 20th-century studies of craniofacial growth. Because the studies cannot be replicated, the records are of immense value to orthodontists and others interested in human growth. This project is an outstanding case study in the use of archival collections and legacy data to support current research, teaching, and clinical care in the health sciences. Orthodontics resident Alex Vo managed the School of Dentistry's participation, under the direction of David Covell, Chair of the Department of Orthodontics.

It was important to all of us that work on the grant could continue after the collection was transferred from the dental school to the archives. We wanted to make sure that the project was completed on time, using the same standards and protocols. This was important for the requirements of the grant, the quality of our work, and the protection of patient privacy according to HIPAA standards. After some brainstorming, we agreed to have library student workers take on the work of scanning images, creating descriptive metadata, and uploading to the database.

In November, we hired Kelley Gorniak and Ashley Ehmig, both library school students who are interested in a career in archives, and had undegraduate backgrounds that complement this project. After some initial training with Alex, Kelley and Ashley are off and running. The project runs through June, by which time we will have enriched the database with hundreds of new images from dozens of patient cases.

Above: Radiograph image from the Oregon Child Study Clinic Records