Quick Links
Connect with Us
Need Help? Have a Question?

Biomedical Informatics

Biomedical Informatics

ITHS offers a variety of biomedical informatics services, including electronic medical record data assessments, biospecimen acquisition and management tools, computing and IT support, and study data management tools.

Biomedical Informatics is a resource for service, education, and innovation in the management of clinical and translational biomedical data. BMI can help clinical and translational researchers to:

  • Determine what clinical data is available in the electronic medical record for power calculation, for eligibility determination, and/or for data collection during a study.
  • Develop and deploy research study screening algorithms with electronic notification of candidate availability.
  • Develop custom queries to extract and derive clinical variables, states, phenotypes, and outcomes.
  • Determine which solution is best suited to managing your research study data.
  • Determine which resources are necessary to include in a grant proposal to enable BMI to electronically gather and manage data in support of your core.
  • Automate extracted electronic medical record data into REDCap, a free web-based application for Electronic Data Capture (EDC).
  • Coordinate with the Center for Biomedical Statistics as needed.
  • Determine how to best manage bio-specimen data.

Accessing Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Data

Accessing Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Data

We can assist investigators with planning and accessing data within the electronic medical records at UW Medicine, including related clinics and hospitals, as well as to facilitate access to data across ITHS partners. The UW Medicine Clinical Data Repository (UWCDR) alone contains more than 10 billion facts from 20 years of data on five million patient lives.

Investigators can work with ITHS consultants to obtain data for feasibility determination, power calculations, eligibility determination, and extraction of electronic medical record data for an ongoing study.

Research Support

We can specifically support your research with the following.

  • Queries and data extraction from the electronic medical record in preparation for design of a study (feasibility analysis, power calculations).
  • Extraction of data from the electronic medical record for determination of eligibility for clinical/translational research study.
  • Extraction of data from the electronic medical record for patients enrolled in a clinical/translational trial.
  • Language to support ongoing extraction of electronic medical record data for grant applications
  • Coordination with Biostatistics,  Regulatory Support, Bioethics, and Regional Research Collaborations as needed.
  • Identification of resources and colleagues from the UW Medical Center, Seattle Children’s, Fred Hutch, Group Health Research Institute, and Benaroya Research who may assist in the research work.

Biospecimen Acquisition and Management Tools

We offer hosted systems, open source systems, and consultations for the management of biospecimen data. We also offer access to processes to discover and acquire biospecimens through our consortia partners.

  • Consultation on data management needs for biospecimen data management.
  • Consultation on data management policy associated with capturing and using biospecimen data in research.
  • Pilot opportunities to collaborate with ITHS for building consortia-wide biospecimen discovery systems.
  • Low-cost and cost-based approaches to biospecimen management tools.
Computing and IT Support for Clinical and Translational Research

Computing and IT Support for Clinical and Translational Research

We can assist investigators with planning for information technology and computing support for current and ongoing research, including:

  • Discussion of web-hosting options for research projects.
  • Assistance in language to support research information technology for grant applications.
  • Logistical coordination between other Biomedical and Informatics core services and research data storage.
  • Identification of resources and colleagues who may assist in the research information technology/computing at:
    • UW Medical Center
    • Seattle Children’s
    • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
    • Group Health Research Institute
    • Benaroya Research
Study Data Management Tools

Study Data Management Tools

We offer a variety of services related to study data management tools (electronic data capture, electronic case report forms), including:

  • Consultation on designing a data management section for your grant application
  • REDCap, a free web-based application for Electronic Data Capture (EDC)
  • Identification of other study data management resources that may be available at your institution
  • Consulting on data management issues at hourly rates
  • Workshops for departments to help build REDCap skills


ITHS BMI supports REDCap, a free, web-based application for Electronic Data Capture that was developed by a consortium of institutional partners. REDCap features a high degree of customizability for your forms and advanced user rights control. It also features free, unlimited survey functionality, a sophisticated export module with support for all the popular statistical programs, and supports HIPAA compliance.

You can use REDCap to administer simple recruitment surveys, collect data for low-budget clinical trials, support operational activities, track adverse events, create longitudinal studies, administrate multi-site studies, eliminate double data entry, and more.

Learn More ›

De-identified Clinical Data Repository (DCDR)

ITHS BMI also supports the DCDR, which is a de-identified data repository that contains a subset of data from various UW Medicine clinical systems. View the data elements page for details on what is contained within DCDR.

The DCDR is a cohort identification/feasibility determination tool. The interface to the DCDR is a secure web-based query tool (currently powered by i2b2) that allows researchers to individually query the data at no cost.

The tool provides a graphical query interface that allows the definition of criteria and returns an aggregate count or a summary of the patients who meet the criteria. An example query in this interface would be of the form: “Give me a count of patients 18-34 with a ICD-9 diagnosis of 250.*, who were discharged live within the past six months.”

Learn More ›


Data QUEST is an electronic health record data-sharing network designed to offer researchers access to primary care research datasets. Data QUEST spans community-based practices in the states of Washington and Idaho, which allows researchers to conduct research in more generalizable and distributed populations than is often possible with health data.

Researchers can use FindIT, the Data QUEST dictionary and data profiling tool, to easily explore the types of data contained within the Data QUEST network. An ITHS team is then available to help assess the feasibility of using Data QUEST for various research ideas and to support researchers in obtaining specific datasets.

Visit the Data QUEST website

Honest Broker

Honest Broker

The University of Washington Clinical Data Repository requires that all human subjects research studies utilizing repository data must pass an Honest Broker review prior to release of PHI data.

To satisfy this requirement, you must submit by email a PDF copy of the stamped, approved IRB application plus PDF copies of any modification forms which extend the approval dates of the study or change the scope of data requested.

Send the documents through the form below.



The Biomedical Informatics consulting rate is $96 per hour as of January 1, 2014. The exceptions to this consulting fee are:

  1. Feasibility Consultation: A no-charge, feasibility consultation of up to one (1) hour for the purpose of feasibility and future effort estimation where no dataset is delivered.
  2. Pre-Award Consultation: A no-charge, pre-award consultation for grant preparation of up to five (5) hours if future ITHS-BMI resource funding is included in your grant proposal.
  3. Junior Faculty Consultation: A no-charge, one-time junior faculty consultation of up to five (5) hours on an unfunded project where a dataset could be delivered.
Contact Us / Request Services

Contact Us / Request Services

In this Section

Cite ItThe Institute is supported by grants UL1TR000423, KL2TR000421, and TL1TR000422 from the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program (CTSA). Please help us continue to support your research by citing our grant number(s) in publications we supported.