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Patient Cohort Identification

Patient Cohort Identification

The ITHS Biomedical Informatics team extracts useful data from electronic medical records to assist with patient cohort identification, trial recruitment, feasibility determination, study design, and more.

We have access to more than 50 clinical data sources from UW Medicine as well as a network of primary care community clinics. The UW Medicine Clinical Data Repository alone contains more than 10 billion facts from 20 years of data on five million patient lives.

The Biomedical Informatics team assists investigators with:

  • Custom electronic medical record screening to identify potential study participants and determine study feasibility
  • Identification of patient cohorts for study planning and retrospective review

We can help you answer a variety of research questions. For example:

  • “I need to determine feasibility for an upcoming trial. Can you help me determine how many patients between the ages of 18 and 55 have been treated for end-stage renal disease in the last five years.”
  • “I am recruiting for a new clinical trial. Can you help me find male patients who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the last five years and are not currently on any prescribed medications?”

The Biomedical Informatics consulting rate is $110 per hour for internal consultations and $150 per hour for external consultations. You can learn more by contacting us through the “Contact Us/Request Services” tabs at the bottom of this page.

IRB Application and Approval Requirements

Investigators who request clinical data sets must meet Institutional Review Board approval prior to receiving data. To help facilitate this process, we have created a regulatory checklist to support requests for data sets that were obtained without consent or HIPAA authorization. We have also developed suggested processes for complying with federal regulations and state law that may be helpful in justifying your request for a HIPAA and/or consent waiver to the IRB.

In addition, 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 that extend the approval dates of the study or change the scope of data requested. Please send these documents through the form below.

Cohort Identification Success Stories

Leveraging BMI to Speed Study Recruitment

Dr. Mary F. Hébert partnered with us to electronically screen and identify participants for studies involving clinical pharmacology of medications during pregnancy. Learn how ITHS helped her reduce time screening participants by half. Read the story>

Expanding Fibromyalgia Trial Recruitment with EMR Data

Dr. Dennis C. Turk partnered with ITHS after experiencing difficulty recruiting participants due to a study’s strict inclusion and exclusion criteria. Learn how ITHS used electronic medical record queries to boost his recruitment by 95%. Read the story>

Informatics Tools for Cohort Identification


Leaf is a self-service tool which provides UW investigators with a user friendly interface for querying the electronic health system records within UW Medicine. What sets Leaf apart is its ability to query live data in real time.

Learn More & Get Started


Data QUEST is an electronic health record data-sharing network designed to offer researchers access to primary care research datasets. The Data QUEST infrastructure represents more than 125,000 patient lives across six federated clinical data repositories.

Learn More & Get Started

Contact Us/Request Services

Contact Us
Request Services

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