Data Retrieval from Electronic Medical Records for USC Researchers

Price: Free

USC can use the research data warehouse for study planning (feasibility assessments, power analyses) through their respective i2b2 portals

University of Southern California (USC)
Goal: Use Informatics-Based Research Tools and Services
Phase: Design A Study
Phase: Conduct A Study

Service description

USC’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.  USC researchers can use the 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.

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 request for de-identified data to use for a retrospective analysis.

How to get access

USC researchers are required to complete the CITI Human Subjects Training and CITI HIPAA Training. Once complete and reflecting in your iStar profile, please submit a ticket to our CRI Service Hub.

Researchers can also submit requests to extract patient-level datasets through the CRI Service Hub.

Click here to view the FAQs for research data requests, tools, and other informatics services.

Frequently Asked Questions

The service infrastructure consists centralized support staff on the USC Keck Campus. Embedded staff members are familiar with local practices, policies, and workflows and serve as informatics liaisons between the research community and the clinical operations community.

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. Alternatively, you may run your query in i2b2, submit an i2b2 data request and attach that data request number generated by the system in your IRB application or amendment. For more clarification regarding your specific request, please email to set a time to review your scenario.

Click here to view a comprehensive list of FAQs.

* A limited dataset is a dataset at the patient level, with all 18 HIPAA identifiers removed or obscured. In this scenario the completion of a Data Use Agreement is required for the release of information.

Need informatics help?

Submit a request

CRI Open Office Hours

Wednesdays at 10AM: Open hours to discuss anything CRI related except for REDCap.

Zoom link

Contact information

Clinical Research Informatics

View Email

Patient Data Resources for Clinical Research

View comparison of all patient data resources 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.