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The UNC Program on Health and Clinical Informatics (PHCI)NC Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS), and Program for Precision Medicine in Health Care (PPMH) presented a seminar series in May 2023 that provided an introduction to working with electronic health care data. Each Wednesday from May 10 through May 31, 2023 featured a presentation, followed by Q&A on research projects with NC TraCS analysts.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Week 1: Understand the basics of how the US health care system generates data and how this data is stored in the EHR. 
  2. Week 2: Describe the code sets used to record health care data. 
  3. Week 3: Recognize the fundamental units of how health care data is organized in the EHR.  
  4. Week 4: Understand how to design a research question for clinical data. Identify resources at UNC that support clinical data research. 

Intended Audience:

Graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and clinicians who are interested in research using clinical data from UNC’s EHR system and the Carolina Data Warehouse

Seminar Recordings and Slides:

May 10, 2023

Instructor: Peter Leese

Topics Covered:

  • Overview of how EHR works and history of EHR as billing system 
  • How health care data is generated 
  • Types of data & documentation used in patient care vs. billing 
  • Structured vs. Non-structured data 
  • EHR database schemas & OMOP vocabulary

View Recorded Session | View Workshop Slides

May 17, 2023

Instructor: Emily Pfaff

Topics Covered:

  • Clinical Terminologies 
  • Diagnoses & ICD codes 
  • Medications & lab data 

View Recorded Session | View Workshop Slides

May 24, 2023

Instructors: Peter Leese & Emily Pfaff

Topics Covered:

  • Patient encounters – inpatient versus outpatient 
  • Bringing domains together: encounters and stuff that happens at the encounters 
  • How slightly different queries can yield vastly different results 

View Recorded Session | View Workshop Slides

May 31, 2023

Instructors: Mike Adams & Anna Jojic

Topics Covered:

  • Elements and examples of a well-formed query 
  • Solicit analytical questions from participants. Instructor models how to write an analytical question in plain English and specify/define all nouns in the query 
  • How to build a robust query – how do you estimate costs 
  • Dos and don’ts in clinical data research 
  • Where to look things up 
  • Resources for getting started 
  • How to make the most of your time working with NC TraCS analysts 

View Recorded Session | View Workshop Slides