Informatics Resources and Tools
The Biomedical Informatics Core offers investigators at the University of Pittsburgh the following resources and tools:
Health Record Research Request (R3)
Health Record Research Request (R3) is a service of the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) managed by the Chief Research Informatics Officer (CRIO), sponsored in part by the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and Institute for Precision Medicine. Pitt and UPMC desire to make clinical data available for research. Under the CRIO, on behalf of UPMC, DBMI staff provision data for research (in some cases as Honest Brokers). R3 is this service or process of provisioning UPMC clinical data and of authorizing additional UPMC data sources for research. R3 is available for use by researchers of the University of Pittsburgh, and for UPMC projects requiring research datasets. For more information about R3, visit the Research Informatics Office website.
R3’s staff reviews all IRB research projects that use the UPMC EMR for research purposes. CTSI's Regulatory Knowledge and Support Core can assist researchers using R3 with their IRB submission, including requests for limited data sets, data use agreements between institutions, and other aspects of regulatory compliance.
ACT Cohort Discovery Tool
The ACT program is creating a federated network of CTSA sites to enable cohort discovery across the nation in real time using a web interface without needing study-specific IRB approval. The ACT Cohort Discovery Tool will enable investigators to obtain aggregated patient counts and patient demographic breakdowns across the network by constructing queries using terms consisting of standard terminologies. For more information about ACT, visit ACT website.
CTSI supports data management for IRB approved research projects and institutionally approved QI studies through Vanderbilt’s REDCap platform. REDCap is a secure web application for building and managing online surveys, data entry forms and databases. Along with the data capture and storage capabilities REDCap provides automated export procedures for seamless data downloads to Excel and many common statistical packages. Ad-hoc reporting tools and advanced form features such as branching logic and calculated fields are some of the many REDCap features that are utilized by the University of Pittsburgh REDCap users. Currently, over 2,800 projects are supported on REDCap.
WebCAMP is Cornell’s web-based platform that is used by the University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Research Centers (CTRCs) and Practice Based Research Networks (PBRNs) to record protocol and census data. WebCAMP’s primary role is to support the day-to-day management of census and protocol data for the CTRCs and PBRNs. Along with data management and reporting functionality WebCAMP interfaces with the CTRC Appointment Request and Scheduling Tool to assign user protocol access along with providing a protocol specific list of available visit procedures.
CTRC Appointment Request and Scheduling Tool
The CTRC Appointment Request and Scheduling Tool is a customized, secure, web-based application that allows investigators and coordinators to complete an online form to request a visit for a research participant. CTRC nurses and administrators receive notification and schedule the participant at their specific CTRC for the appropriate resource at the requested date and time. Additional new features that were implemented allow visit durations to be predefined in WebCAMP and defaulted in the Scheduling System, printing of the bedboard, and enhancements to daily notes and confirmation emails.
The Text Information Extraction System (TIES)
The Text Information Extraction System (TIES) is the name given to the Cancer Text Information Extraction System (caTIES) production system at the University of Pittsburgh. It is a slightly customized version of caTIES that is freely available for download from the caTIES website. The TIES system provides investigators with an intuitive user interface for finding patient cases and clinical data in a repository of more than 1.6 million UPMC de-identified pathology reports and to order the associated tissue for IRB-approved studies. For more information about TIES, including information on how to request a TIES account, or to view the TIES User Manual or TIES Software Demos, visit the TIES website.
The staff of the Biomedical Informatics Core is available to help investigators identify the appropriate software for storing research data or the appropriate methodology for design or evaluation of software to be developed for a grant. While we do not develop software for individual research projects, we can often direct investigators to other resources on campus. To request a consulting session, email Joyce Zelnis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help Desk support
The Biomedical Informatics Core will provide helpdesk support for CTSI Cohort Discovery Tool, ACT Cohort Discovery Tool, REDCap, and TIES. The BIC Help Desk can be contact at email@example.com or at 412-624-8555, Monday- Friday 8:00AM to 4:00PM.
The Clinical and Translational Science Institute provides help desk support for the Research Requests and Service Tracking, WebCAMP, and CTRC Scheduler applications. The CTSI Help Desk can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.