Powering Innovation With Informatics

Project Spotlight: Customized COVID-19 Vaccine Serology Dashboard

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The OCTRI Informatics Innovation Core team collaborated with OHSU infectious disease expert, Dr. Marcel Curlin, to build a database from thousands of blood samples collected from employees before and after COVID-19 vaccination. 

The resulting COVID-19 Vaccine Serology Dashboard provides both study participants and the study team a centralized place for accessing and tracking data.

Read the full story and view dashboard examples in the Project Spotlight Summary.

Our goal

The goal of the OCTRI Informatics program is to accelerate translational research by providing a full suite of informatics tools for bench-to-bedside, clinical and health care systems research. The program achieves its objectives by: 

  • Helping researchers leverage EHR/Epic data for studies. 

  • Developing software and customized databases for clinical research data collection and management.

  • Assisting researchers with the storage, retrieval, sharing, and optimal use of biomedical information, data, and knowledge. 

We encourage you to meet with program staff early in the study planning stage to ensure an appropriate solution design and budget. Please submit a request for an informatics consultation. 

Custom databases to meet complex needs

OCTRI Informatics supports a diverse population of investigators and projects using an array of innovative technologies. We 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
  • Complex system integration
  • Data dashboards (read more here or see project spotlight above)

These projects are generally large-scale, multi-year projects with significant budget requirements.  Please contact us to discuss your needs.

Research Data Warehouse: Using Epic® data for research purposes

OCTRI maintains a repository of Epic data from patients and research subjects. This valuable resource, called the Research Data Warehouse, provides access to over 2.5 million patient records with 20 million patient encounter records and more than 40,000 data points. You can use this resource for a broad range of research purposes, including: 

  • Cohort discovery (counters) for preparation to research purposes 
  • Deidentified data sets for epidemiological studies
  • Data sets that identify potential study participants or gather retrospective data on current participants 

OCTRI staff can act as your guide through this complex data, or you can query the data yourself with the Cohort Discovery Tool (see below).

Cohort Discovery: Using Epic® to find your study population

Cohort Discovery is a web-based tool that allows OHSU researchers to discover patient cohort counts from Epic data for preparatory to research purposes. Researchers can use this tool to:

  • Assess the feasibility of a study
  • Identify patients meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria
  • Begin study planning prior to submission to the Institutional Review Board

The data is deidentified, but patient data sets can be extracted from saved searches with proper Institutional Review Board approval. 

Searchable taxonomies include demographics, diagnoses, medications, procedures, laboratory results, surgeries, patient visits, and vital signs. 

Cohort Discovery users must take part in a brief training prior to gaining access. Virtual tutorials are offered once a month via WebEx.

Use Compass to register by searching "Cohort Discovery".  Registration for training closes three days prior to training date.

The Informatics Research Support Team is here to help. Our analysts can help with complex Cohort Discovery queries. Feel free to send us an email: octrihlp@ohsu.edu.  

The ACT Network is a real-time, open access platform allowing researchers to explore and validate feasibility for clinical studies. ACT is available to all researchers at OHSU and our partner institutions. ACT is provided to OHSU researchers at no charge, but registration is required. Access ACT: actnetwork.us/OHSU

ACT was developed by members of the CTSA consortium to enable cohort discovery using a web interface in a HIPAA-compliant manner, without requiring study-specific IRB approval. It offers open-access to a national network of leading academic medical research centers and generates aggregate patient count data from an investigator's real-time, iterative searches.

Please email us, if you have questions about the ACT Network: octrihlp@ohsu.edu

Epic for Research Team - an OHSU Information Technology Group

Separate from the Research Data Warehouse and Cohort Discovery, researchers can also use Epic itself for certain research-related activities, including:

  • Research Subject Tracking Notifications
  • Research Orders
  • General Epic Optimization & Support for Researchers
  • Study Recruitment

For more information see the Epic for Research Team’s O2 site.

Develop novel translational bioinformatics methodology

The Translational Bioinformatics component of the Informatics program is focused on development and application of statistical and computational methodologies to solve research bottlenecks and novel ways to visualize and interpret information. 

Please contact OCTRI Navigator to request a translational bioinformatics consultation: octri@ohsu.edu

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Ready to discuss your needs?

Contact an OCTRI Navigator for guidance and support. 


Resource Request Form

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REDCap page.

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Research Data Concierge at OHSU

Get help accessing and working with research data at OHSU.

Visit the Research Data Concierge site

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Use de-identified patient data to study COVID-19 and potential treatments.

Access the N3C data enclave