Linking Data to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

October 04, 2018


Dr. Svetla Slavova, Dept. of Biostatistics, has been named to the National Center for Health Statistics Board of Scientific Counselors Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Drug Work Group. She will serve a term of two years. The work group will provide input on strategies, algorithms, data linkages, white papers, and manuscripts focused on improved timelines, data quality, and integration of mortality and morbidity data for patient-centered outcome research with particular focus on opioid and other drug use, misuse, overdose, and associated health outcomes.


The work will establish an NCHS Research Data Center with linked data across agencies available to researchers. Analytical data files produced from this project will be made available to researchers through the National Center for Health Statistics’ Research Data Center (RDC). The enhanced data files will allow researchers to examine factors from hospital encounters and death records, including patient characteristics, emergency room practices, causes of death, and risk factors leading to opioid-related drug overdoses presenting in hospital settings.




The University of Kentucky College of Public Health is a catalyst of positive change for population health, with a mission to develop health champions, conduct multidisciplinary and applied research, and collaborate with partners to improve health in Kentucky and beyond. In FY 2017, projects led by our faculty received $12.7 million from the National Institutes of Health to tackle tough issues including cancer, substance use disorder, and rural health disparities.