These are public access databases available for use in research.
Clinical Data Repository
The Clinical Data Repository is a web-accessible de-identified database of all patient encounters at UVA. Any UVA physician may obtain a password and have instant access to this data through a user-friendly search site. If you can’t get what you need with the search web pages, the CDR project team can run a customized search for you.
The CDR can be used to generate datasets that are easily downloaded and imported into a spreadsheet or statistical program for analysis. It can also be used to identify a set of patients for a chart review.
Pediatric residents have searched the CDR to analyze comorbidities in patients admitted for febrile seizures, study results of lead screening in pediatric clinic patients for a Morning Report presentation, identify patients with acquired brain injury for a chart review.
Centers for Disease Control
The CDC maintains a series of public-use data files that can be downloaded (easily and for free) and analyzed (perhaps not quite as easily) for research projects, accessible here.
The National Survey of Children's Health is a goldmine of data about the physical and emotional health of children in the United States. Dr. Matt Gurka has published several research studies using this database, including one study co-authored with former resident Laura Blanchard. Dr. Gurka has also worked with the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD) and the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs. He is very interested in further collaboration with physicians who wish to address their clinical questions with this data.
The CDC has conducted the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) since the 1970’s. This is a population-based survey which includes health exams and extensive interviews about health status, disease history and diet. These data have been used, for example, to construct and update the CDC’s growth charts.
The National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) and the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) are designed to collect data on the utilization and provision of ambulatory care services in hospital emergency and outpatient departments and in office-based physicians’ practices.
The State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey (SLAITS) collects important health care data at State and local levels. This data collection mechanism was developed by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the CDC. It supplements current national data collection strategies by providing in-depth State and local area data to meet various program and policy needs in an ever-changing health care system.
The data files are designed for use with SAS (a statistics package) and are not “pretty”. But you can download files and import the data you want into a spreadsheet file or other software. These are probability samples, and weighting factors must be used in your analysis. So, get statistical help if you are interested in using these sources.
Other Public Use Data Files
Other state and national agencies maintain health-care related databases too. Spend a little time surfing the web – see what data sources you can find.