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University of California Health Creates Centralized Data Set to Accelerate COVID-19 Research



UCLA CTSI News Archive

Drawing on electronic health records from across its academic health system, University of California Health has developed a unified, secure data set for use in COVID-19 research. The HIPAA Limited Data Set consisting of clinical information with more than 460 million data points is accessible to researchers across the entire UC system, enabling them to rapidly compare treatment options from previous patients to help future patients. 

"Aggregating and using our collective clinical data in this safe and responsible way is one of a series of initiatives to speed up 'bench to bedside' research to treatment," said Atul Butte, chief data scientist for University of California Health and a distinguished professor at UCSF. "With the scale of the pandemic, we need as many UC researchers as possible to work on treatment options. Having access to this diverse data set that is already integrated may contain insights into COVID-19 that they may not find elsewhere, and can make their work more efficient. This type of dataset may provide a window into patterns they might not have otherwise been able to identify." 

The University of California COVID Research Data Set (UC CORDS) simplifies the process a researcher would otherwise have to go through to have a critical mass of detailed clinical data and patient variables to make meaningful comparisons. Once the request is validated, researchers gain access to the systemwide data from UC Health’s five academic health centers. UC CORDS follows the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services definition of a HIPAA Limited Data Set and excludes key direct identifiers of the individual or of relatives, employers, or household members of the individual.

Click here to read more about UC CORDS. Further details are also available here.