Clinical Research Informatics

The mission of the Clinical Research Informatics (CRI) program is to accelerate translational research by providing informatics tools to leverage clinical data (Epic) for research and to develop state-of-the-art clinical research data collection and management software and expertise. These tools support a diverse array of research including bench-to-bedside, clinical, and healthcare systems research.

The Clinical Research Informatics program has the resources and expertise, software engineering, research analysts, and project management available to assist researchers with the storage, retrieval, sharing and optimal use of biomedical information, data and knowledge for problem solving and decision making. Our cadre of experts work closely with researchers to design informatics solutions that meet researchers' needs and are delivered on time and within budget.

It is important to meet with CRI staff early in the study planning stage to ensure an appropriate solution design and budget. Please submit a request for a clinical research informatics consultation.

Program Services

The Clinical Research Informatics program offers a variety of services, informatics tools and expertise specifically tailored to the needs of researchers.

Epic® for Research Purposes

The Clinical Research Informatics program maintains a repository of Epic® data created for research purposes. This resource is known as the Research Data Warehouse (RDW). Researchers work with CRI staff for a variety of research purposes including:

Preparatory to Research
  • Patient counts for feasibility
  • Cohort identification

Conduct of Research Protocol

  • Identify potential study participants
  • Data extracts for chart review
  • Large dataset extraction for epidemiological projects

Examples of data contained in the RDW include (but are not limited to):

  • Demographic
  • Insurance coverage
  • Vitals
  • Provider
  • Birth history
  • Contact information
  • Diagnoses
  • Medications
  • Lab orders & results
  • Medications
  • Hospital encounters

Researchers can also query the RDW themselves with the Cohort Discovery tool.

Cohort Discovery Tool

Cohort Discovery is a web-based informatics tool that allows researchers to query the RDW for counts of patients that meet inclusion and exclusion criteria specified by the researcher during their preparatory to research phase.

Research Databases and Data Management

The Clinical Research Informatics Program also provides options for research data management.


REDCap is a secure, web-based database designed to support electronic data capture for research studies. This data collection tool is specifically designed to meet the complex needs of research studies in a HIPAA and IRB compliant fashion, freeing investigators to concentrate on science, secure in the knowledge that their data are accessible, of high quality, and securely stored.

Come to a REDCap tutorial to learn more -- no preregistration is required.

Custom Databases

To address more complex data management needs, the CRI program supports a diverse population of investigators and projects using an array of innovative technologies. They have the staff and expertise to create and maintain sophisticated database software applications. Some examples include biospecimen and patient registries, wireless pen tablet point-of-care data entry, remote data collection, and complex system integration. These projects are generally large scale multi-year projects with significant budget requirements.