Clinical Informatics Research

The Clinical Informatics Research Division (CIRD) in the Department of Population Health Sciences (PHS) is a research and academic division dedicated to improving health care by bridging biomedical, statistical, and computational domains. The CIRD curates a de-identified data warehouse that is accessible to researchers through multiple software tools such as i2b2, TriNetX, etc., for data query for study feasibility purposes. Additionally, researchers may request collaboration with the CIRD to obtain individual-level or identified data for IRB approved research studies. Our Division participates in various grant-funded networks and organizations.

Who we are, and what we do

Local research support

  • Group and fee-based individualized i2b2 and TriNetX training for building queries and cohort characterization for preparatory to research purposes
  • Free, self-service preparatory to research queries for research study and clinical trial feasibility
  • Self-service de-identified data-pulls from i2b2 (post IRB review)
  • Identifiable data pulls for retrospective studies and clinical trials (post IRB approval)
  • Integration of Sunrise and EPIC data in i2b2, TriNetX, and PCORNet Common Data Model (CDM) instances
  • Collaboration on grants or projects
  • External Collaborations

External Collaborations

Preparatory to Research Tool

A global research network that allows researchers to explore the feasibility for clinical trials using both Sunrise and Epic data for preparatory to research purposesTrial Connect
Allows pharmaceutical companies and CRO’s to query our data and contact our institution about clinical trial opportunities based on query results. The CIRD works directly with the Clinical Trials Office to facilitate PI matching for these studies.

ACT SHRINE (available to researchers September 2018)

Accrual for 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.

Greater Plains Collaborative (GPC/PCORI)

The CIRD is UT Health San Antonio’s link to the GPC network funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). GPC is comprised of 12 medical centers each hosting a research data warehouses covering more than 5 million active 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.

Examples of Work

Since its inception, the i2b2 Data Warehouse self-service system has been utilized to run over 2,000 queries by 72 local researchers for preparatory to research purposes. We have received over 180 i2b2 System Access requests from our local researchers, as well as 50 formal requests for projects, which have resulted in 9 studies with IRB approved protocols coming to or near fruition. The PCORI Common Data Model (CDM) contains over 1 million patients from both UHS and UTMed. The CIRD has participated in nine PCORI studies and one Pilot to date, many of which are ongoing.

Innovative Informatics Tools for Researchers

  • Data Finisher: turns a relational database into a flat table for statistical analysis.
  • Chinotype: compares prevalence of diagnosis, procedures between patient populations.
  • Patient Matcher: is used for finding control matches to case-patients.
  • Tabsi’s purpose is for data visualization.


CIRD I2B2 Data Warehouse update 7/9/2018

UTMed data updated to 4/2018

  • Census Socioeconomic facts

UHS data added 2005-11/2017

  • Demographics
  • Diagnosis
  • Labs (top 218)
  • Medications
  • Lab panels (orders)
  • Procedures
  • Provider Specialty
  • Discharge Disposition and Discharge Status
  • Vitals: Height, Weight, BMI