Service description

DHS’s warehouse of patient medical records is a rich source of data for retrospective studies as well as for finding local participants for prospective studies.  DHS researchers (and USC researchers with DHS appointments) can use DHS’s i2b2 portal for study planning—feasibility assessments and power analyses—on a self-service basis.  I2b2 contains only deidentified patient information, but researchers can request identifiable patient information for screening or recruitment purposes with IRB approval.


How to get access

To Request an account, please submit a ticket to helpdesk@dhs.lacounty.gov referencing “Sage i2b2/account request”. For costs associated with complex data requests requiring the re-identification of patient health information, or data unavailable though i2b2, more information can be found here.

Click here to view the FAQs for information about obtaining IRB approval for data requests, i2b2, and other informatics questions BEFORE sending an email for help.


Benefits for users

  • Sample Size Planning / Feasibility Assessment: Determine how many patients in the USC, CHLA or DHS electronic health records meet your study criteria. View distributions of patients based on gender, race, and age.
  • Recruitment or Chart Screening: Use i2b2 to define a set of patients to consider for your study. Then, outside of i2b2, work with the health system(s) to access MRN or contact information. IRB approval is required for identified data sets.
  • Outcomes Research: Submit a data request for de-identified data for retrospective analysis
Request the service

Frequently Asked Questions

IRB approval is required whenever a researcher is requesting information beyond aggregate patient counts or outside of *limited data sets. Please explicitly state in your IRB application and or amendment the use of i2b2 and all of the data elements requested. For example, if requesting MRN, phone and medication orders, this must be clearly stated and approved in your IRB application and or amendment.

For more information on the DHS IRB approval and Research Oversight Board categorization process, please review this document.

If you need additional clarification regarding your specific request, please email cri@usc.edu to set a time to review your scenario. Click here to view a comprehensive list of FAQs.


Patient Data Resources for Clinical Research

View comparison of all patient data resources here.

CRI Open Office Hours

Tuesdays at 11AM: Open hours to discuss anything CRI related except for REDCap.

Zoom link

Contact information

DHS Sage i2b2
Clinical Research Informatics

View Email

Tooltip: Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS)

USC’s Clinical Trial Management System, OnCore, is a jointly sponsored, web-based software system for managing clinical trials.

Click Here

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.