The Research Informatics Core (RIC) at Arkansas Children’s provides support to investigators and researchers with access to state-of-the-art research tools and technologies for biomedical research. The Research Informatics team at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute (ACRI) offers the services and the tools that enable investigators to conduct research activities. The team emphasizes biomedical informatics as an approach to facilitating research projects and assists investigators in the daily use of research database systems and clinical/operational support requests. The Research Informatics team maintains state-of-the-art research tools and technologies.
RIC Services include the following:
- Manage the life cycle of research informatics projects:
- Define research and project needs with investigators and manage the delivery of project deliverables.
- Devise and implement policies and standard operating procedures with attention to data security and efficiency of data handling and management.
- Manage research informatics tools such as i2b2, TriNetX, and ACT as well as assist in the development of the Research Data Capture (REDCap) and data extraction from the Children’s Hospital Association’s Pediatric Health Information Systems (PHIS).
- Retrieve data for approved research, quality improvement, and operational support projects, primarily through the electronic medical record (EHR) repository as well as other resources such as i2b2, TriNetX, and the Children’s Hospital Association’s (CHA) Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS), among others.
- Define ways to organize, store, and analyze data with attention to security and confidentiality.
Support and Training
- Support Arkansas Children’s and UAMS investigators in daily use of research database systems.
- Develop and conduct training for Arkansas Children’s and UAMS investigators with a focus on teaching best practices to enhance data efficiency, collection, and security.
- Provide continuing service request support of database projects, including access, security, maintenance, and enhancement.
The RIC specializes in extracting patient data from the hospital EHR, Epic, to provide efficient and accurate data for research projects, in addition to providing education and training on the use of research informatics tools. RIC also provides data services required for HIPAA compliance and data sharing, including, but not limited to, de-identification of free-text data, generation of various file formats for import into central databases such as XML, secure transfer of files, data integration and transformation and ensuring compliance of data output with various data structures. RIC supports ACRI’s efforts in participating in several national collaborative, multi-institutional data sharing projects, working closely with other institutions, including the creation of multi-institutional data warehouses utilizing a federated query system and several multi-center research registries.
Ahmed AbuHalimeh, Ph.D.
Consultant, Research Informatics Core
Arkansas Children’s Hospital
Erin Hathorn, M.S.H.I.
Research Informatics Program Manager
Arkansas Children’s Research Institute