Powering Innovation With State-of-the-Art Informatics

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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. Program activities span the translational spectrum, from Translational Bioinformatics to Clinical Research Informatics. 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. 

Entrust your data to REDCap

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. 

Go to REDCap

Custom databases to meet complex needs

Informatics program 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

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 and ACT Network users must take part in an hour-long training prior to gaining access. Tutorials are offered once a month in the BICC 120 Training Room. 

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

Upcoming training sessions

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

Additionally, OCTRI holds weekly Cohort Discovery Drop-In/Demo Help Sessions every month on some Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the School of Nursing, Conference Room 425. 

The in-person drop-in/demo sessions have been cancelled until further notice; however, you can still email questions to octrihlp@ohsu.edu. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Upcoming training sessions

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 Bridge 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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EHR-based recruitment tools for COVID-19 research

Specialized Epic features for COVID-19 research at OHSU.

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Connect to the data

Contact us with questions about Informatics support at OCTRI.

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Get support with Epic for research 

Connect with help for working within the Epic interface

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