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Lars Hemkens

(Germany) Clinical Researcher University Hospital Basel

Harkness Project Title: Use of Routinely Collected Health Data to Inform Policy and Practice

Placement: Stanford University

Mentor: John Ioannidis, Stanford University

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Lars Hemkens,, a 2011-12 German Harkness/Robert Bosch Stiftung Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, is a research fellow at the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Previous positions include research fellow at DIeM—Institute for Evidence-Based Medicine, Cologne, and staff physician in internal medicine at St. Franziskus Hospital. His work includes methods of evidence‐based medicine and evidence‐based health care, systematic reviews and benefit assessments (HTA‐reports / CER‐reports) in diabetes and hypertension, and research using routinely collected patient data to assess the safety of diabetic treatments. He led a milestone and very controversial study (Hemkens LG, et al "Risk of malignancies in patients with diabetes treated with human insulin or insulin analogues: a cohort study," Diabetologia 2009), which generated widespread debate and has stimulated more definitive studies. He has authored and co-authored several peer-reviewed publications and IQWiG reports. Hemkens hold a From the University of Cologne, and an M.P.H., Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf.

Project: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the gold standard in evidence-based medicine and are essential for comparative effectiveness research. However, members of priority groups are often under-represented in RCTs, and the reporting of safety results is often insufficient.  Hemkens project compared the findings of research using routinely collected utilization databases – such as claims data, EMRs, patient registries, dedicated research networks – with RCTs addressing the same question.  He conducted a systematic comparison of RCT results against research using utilization databases to determine the level of concordance. 

Career Activity Since Fellowship

  • Deputy Director, Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University Hospital Basel, 2017
  • Head of Clinical Epidemiology Consulting, Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University Hospital Basel, 2016
  • Senior Scientist, Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University Hospital Basel, 2012
  • Clinical Researcher, University Hospital Basel

Current Positions: (updated 7/2017)

  • Deputy Director and Senior Scientist, Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University Hospital Basel

Email: [email protected]

Selected Publications: 

Hemkens LG, Contopoulos-Ioannidis DG, Ioannidis JP. “Concordance of effects of medical interventions on hospital admission and readmission rates with effects on mortality.” Canadian Medical Association Journal October 2013.