Clinical Research Informatics

Do you need University Hospital or UT Medicine data for research or quality improvement purposes? If so, you’ve come to the right place. The Clinical Research Informatics Team, housed in the Department of Population Health Sciences (PHS), is dedicated to improving health care by collaborating with local investigators on their data and project needs. UHS and EPIC EHR data is curated and made available via a de-identified data warehouse that is accessible to researchers through multiple self-service tools including i2b2, TriNetX, and ACT Shrine. Investigators can build self-service queries for study feasibility purposes, as well as request to obtain individual-level or identified data for quality improvement projects or IRB approved research studies. Our group participates in various grant-funded networks and organizations, and multi-site study collaboration support is an additional service we offer as a result.

Get Data, Got Data, Use Data:

Local investigator support:

  • Free, self-service access to TriNetX and i2b2 for preparatory to research query building, project feasibility and cohort exploration (de-identified, aggregate results)
      • Request access here: https://redcap.uthscsa.edu/REDCap/surveys/?s=YP9N3HCMY9
  • Group and individual user interface query building training
      • Request an appointment here: informatics@uthscsa.edu
  • Fee based de-identified, individual level data pull requests with IRB Determination of non-research (self-service coming soon)
      • Request project support here: https://redcap.uthscsa.edu/REDCap/surveys/?s=FX9PLLTNK7
  • Fee based identifiable data pull requests for research and quality improvement projects
      • Request project support here: https://redcap.uthscsa.edu/REDCap/surveys/?s=FX9PLLTNK7
  • Collaboration on grant proposals or projects
      • Request project support here: https://redcap.uthscsa.edu/REDCap/surveys/?s=FX9PLLTNK7
  • External collaboration support for multi-site studies through Accrual to Clinical Trials (ACT), PCORnet and Greater Plains Collaborative networks.
      • Contact us: informatics@uthscsa.edu

THE DATA – What do I have access to as an investigator?

The Data Warehouse contains electronic health record data from both UHS Sunrise and UT Medicine clinics, which includes over 1 million patients for query. Additional data sources and details are listed below. We are continually adding new data to enrich the resources available to investigators; stay tuned for updates!

UHS (2005-July 2019):

  • Sunrise EHR
  • IDX Billing Database
  • Refreshed bi-yearly

UTMed (2007-July 2019):

  • EPIC EHR
  • Refreshed quarterly
  • Cancer Registry (NAACCR)

US Census Data

Social Security Death Master File (SSDMF)

Area Deprivation Index (2015)

Multi-site Data:

  • De-identified, aggregate level self-service data from all HCOs contained within the Accrual to Clinical Trials (ACT) Network
  • PCORnet Common Data Model data from all PCORnet sites and Greater Plains Collaborative (GPC) network sites (e.g. claims data)
      • https://pcornet.org/
      • http://www.gpcnetwork.org/
      • Contact informatics@uthscsa.edu for more information

What are the limitations to the data?

Data not currently available:

UHS:

  • surgical database (PICIS)
  • transfusion and additional laboratory data (SOFT)
  • additional medication data (MULTUM)
  • outpatient medication
  • a subset of data that is associated with jail departments
  • Echo data
  • Cancer Registry
  • ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP)

UTMed:

  • a subset of UTMed patients that have been seen at the Texas Liver Institute (TLI)
  • a subset of UHS data that is associated with jail departments

General:

  • Imaging
  • Genomics
  • Unmapped data (i.e. certain flow-sheet data (investigator funding required))
  • Visit data outside of UTMed clinics or UHS (e.g. VA data or visits to other HCOs)

Date Warehouse tools for project feasibility:

What is TriNetX (recommended platform)? 

TriNetX is a self- service preparatory to research tool and a global research network that allows investigators to explore study and project feasibility using local EHR data. We recommend this cohort exploration platform to the majority of our investigators given that the tools available for query building and analytics are top of the line and offer a very easy to learn and user friendly interface that is highly useful and fun for investigators to utilize.

https://www.trinetx.com/

Request access here: https://redcap.uthscsa.edu/REDCap/surveys/?s=YP9N3HCMY9

What is i2b2?

i2b2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside) was an NIH-funded National Center for Biomedical Computing based at Partners HealthCare System. The i2b2 NCBC developed a scalable informatics framework that is designed to bridge clinical research data and the vast data banks arising from basic science research in order to better understand the genetic bases of complex diseases (https://i2b2.cchmc.org/faq).

I2b2 offers investigators a free, self-service user interface where they can perform preparatory to research query building, project feasibility and cohort exploration, receiving de-identified, aggregate results. i2b2 offers additional data elements for query that other platforms, such as TriNetX, do not. Examples include, orders, allergies, alerts, flow sheet data, etc. We recommend this platform for special needs only.

http://www.i2b2.org for more information

Request access here: https://redcap.uthscsa.edu/REDCap/surveys/?s=YP9N3HCMY9

What is ACT SHRINE?

Accrual to Clinical Trials (ACT) is a Shared Health Research Informatics Network (SHRINE), which is a distributed query system and search engine for i2b2 that enables clinical researchers to search de-identified patient records using a customized set of patient criteria. ACT SHRINE queries all National Clinical and Translational Science Awarded (CTSA) Consortium institutions, provides approximated aggregate counts for each site, and significantly increases participant accrual to the nation’s highest priority clinical trials.

http://www.actnetwork.us/

Contact us for more information on how to leverage this network: informatics@uthscsa.edu

What is the Greater Plains Collaborative (GPC)?

The CIRD is UTHSCSA’s link to the GPC network funded by the People-Centered Research Foundation (PCRF). GPC is comprised of 12 medical centers each hosting a research data warehouses covering more than 21 million patients. As a member site, we share technical expertise, software, and data and participate in multiple research initiatives.

Common Data Model (CDM)/PCORNet Front Door

GPC network sites maps EHR data to the same consistent format (i.e., with the same variable name, attributes, and other metadata). PCORnet Front Door invites potential investigators, patient groups, healthcare organizations, clinicians and clinician groups, government, industry scientists, and sponsors to leverage PCORnet’s unique infrastructure and collaborate on patient-centered clinical research.

https://pcornet.org/

http://www.gpcnetwork.org/

Contact us for more information on how to leverage these networks: informatics@uthscsa.edu

Clinical Trial Recruitment Facilitation 

The Clinical Research Informatics Office leverages their Data Warehouse to help facilitate the recruitment of study participants, alongside the Clinical Trials Office. We offer multiple channels for investigators to determine recruitment feasibility, request recruitment list extraction and offer overall recruitment planning support upon request. These platforms include TriNetX, i2b2, ACT SHRINE, and collaboration with sites and studies within the PCORnet network infrastructure.

Contact us for more information on how to gain access to clinical trial feasibility resources and request a patient list for study recruitment: informatics@uthscsa.edu