Virtual Data Warehouse
Standardizing data to improve collaboration and research
Hennepin Healthcare Virtual Data Warehouse
The Hennepin Healthcare Virtual Data Warehouse (VDW) is a streamlined data resource for health care research. The VDW organizes electronic health record data according the the HCSRN data model used by health systems across the United States. The result is a simple, easy to understand data structure that can facilitate collaborative, cross-system research.
1) Review VDW documentation
2) Request Data
- Statistics and analysis services also available on request
3) Cost estimate
- VDW analyst will contact you regarding a detailed cost estimate for your project
- Service fee of $120/hour for data pulls*
4) IRB Review
- Requests for identifiable data require IRB review. Consult with VDW staff before submitting an IRB application.
5) Request fulfilled
- DUA may be required. VDW staff will help you determine if a DUA is necessary.
Questions? Email email@example.com
*fees may vary for some funding sources
Data to Improve Patient Care
Researchers use data at Hennepin Healthcare to identify strategies to improve access to care, reduce costs, and improve health care quality and outcomes. Data is used by Hennepin Healthcare researchers to improve health care policy and practice at the local level. Data is also used to collaborate with other health systems, which allows researchers to understand diseases that may be too rare to study at only one hospital. Collaboration with other health systems allows researchers to understand which treatments and policies work best.
Examples of Work Using the VDW
The Hennepin Healthcare VDW supports a wide array of work. Examples include:
COVID-19 Research. Researchers developed a public health surveillance registry of COVID-19 cases and vaccines to be summarized with other health systems in Minnesota to help the Minnesota Department of Health track the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 and thrombosis. VDW data was used to contribute Hennepin Healthcare data for a multi-site collaborative research project.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and HIV. Researcher used the VDW to test associations between patient characteristics and cardiovascular outcomes among HIV patients.
Commitment to Patient Privacy
Hennepin Healthcare is committed to patient privacy. Patient data that is accessed for research purposes will be used only in accordance with federal and state law and Hennepin Healthcare’s privacy practices. Patient data in the VDW is stored on protected computers, and Hennepin Healthcare limits and keeps track of who sees the information. Before researchers use VDW data, identifying information is typically removed. When identifiable data is necessary, researchers must provide justification, obtain Institutional Board Review approval, and cannot share data outside Hennepin Healthcare.
Patients can learn more about Hennepin Healthcare’s privacy practices at https://www.hennepinhealthcare.org/privacy-practices/
A Researcher Resource
Common Data Model
The VDW was built using a common data model (CDM) to organize data into a standard structure. The ability to map data consistently (the same variable name and format) enables a fast response to research-related requests, especially for collaborative studies.
The VDW can easily be formatted to work with the PCORnet CDM for PCORI grant applications and for cross-institution research, which is required to participate in certain studies.
A Shared Effort
The VDW was established through a collaboration between HHS Executive Leadership and researchers, Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI) staff, Hennepin Healthcare's Analytical Center of Excellence (ACE) staff, and the University of Minnesota's Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI).
Hennepin Healthcare Systems (HHS) and Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI) faculty, trainees, and staff are eligible to submit a data request. External (non-HHS or non-HHRI) collaborators may participate in research projects using the VDW but the project must include an HHS or HHRI co-investigator who will initiate the request.
The VDW contains information from Hennepin Healthcare's Epic medical chart and billing data. It includes thirteen domains: Death, Demographics, Diagnosis, Encounters, Faculty, Geography, Lab Results, Languages, Med Orders, Procedures, Providers, Social History, and Vital Signs.
Research Requests and Costs
All research requests for Hennepin Healthcare data must include a Hennepin Healthcare researcher. Requests are governed by HIPAA Privacy Rule 45 CFR 164.501 and the Minnesota Health Records Act. Investigators conducting research with Hennepin Healthcare data will need to obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval prior to submitting a request to obtain VDW data.
There is a service fee of $120/hr based on the time spent by the VDW team fulfilling data requests. This fee offsets some of the costs of maintaining the data warehouse, assessing your request, and pulling the data. The VDW Data Analyst can assist you in estimating the number of hours your request will require. Please plan to provide an account number to be billed when submitting your data request. If your project is non-sponsored you may request a waiver of the service fees. To consult with the Data Analyst regarding a time estimate, a waiver of fees, or to discuss your request, send an email to VDW@hhrinstitute.org
For More Information
Questions? Email VDW@hhrinstitute.org