November 2018

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November 14, 2018


While I am grateful all year for the valuable partnerships formed between our research community and the team members at the Data Office – I am especially grateful at this time of year when we can reflect on the progress we’ve made together. The team works tirelessly to provide high-quality data to answer important questions, and truly finds it a privilege to play a role in the cutting-edge science led by our institution’s investigators. I am so excited to see what we do together next year for our patients and for the advancement of innovative research!

In this month's issue, you'll find the latest updates at the Data Office, recent additions to our self-serve tools and privacy guidelines, services we offer, and more. Scroll down to read more about special services for those needing recurring data, the expansion of our DataDirect self-serve tool, safety precautions for medical students, plus special reminders for our researchers.

Questions about our services? Contact  us  with your ideas and questions. Happy Holidays!
Erin Kaleba, M.P.H.
Director, Data Office for Clinical & Translational Research
Available Data Services for Your Research
Researchers have vastly different data needs – from a one-time pull of patient-level data from MiChart, to scheduled refreshes of data sent automatically at a weekly or monthly frequency. If you have need for a recurring dataset, do you know that the Data Analysts within the Data Office can have it delivered to your secure storage location in a safe, automated fashion? For instance, many researchers store sensitive data on HITS-enabled shared drives, while others use platforms such as HIPAA-configured Turbo storage with Flux compute capacity for more robust analyses-- we can deliver to both!

We are excited to move away from e-mail based delivery methods to a secure placement of datasets precisely where you will analyze them.

Questions about data or a  custom data request ? Contact Arina Bierdz at .
Self-Serve Tools
Previously accessible to Michigan Medicine users only, a DataDirect application will soon be open to U-M faculty and their research teams, campus-wide. The new application is intended for the non-medical research community. Michigan Medicine users should continue to use this link to access DataDirect. The DataDirect application for campus is a different URL, has different requirements and does not include PHI. The launch date for the application will be announced at a later time.

For questions on using DataDirect, contact . More questions about DataDirect? Contact Arika Owens at .
Data Privacy & Security
Medical students provide a valuable contribution to progress on research efforts, but because of their temporary status, it creates a heightened risk in terms of access to PHI. Students who require access to data for an exempt study should be provided with de-identified data only. 

This practice is also helpful from an IRB perspective, since amendments to update study team members are not required. The PI is responsible for ensuring that all PHI has been stripped before a student is given access to the data set. An attestation is also advised for each student who will be handling data. The Data Office offers assistance in these type of situations and will provide appropriate guidance.    

Get more information about sharing your data safely  here . More questions? Contact Devon Newman at .
Data Customer Spotlight
“I recently used DataDirect for cohort feasibility related to a project my colleagues and I are doing that is related to metabolism and genetic mutations. Knowing the number of patients who had recently undergone bariatric surgery at U-M, I was able to quickly ascertain the subset of those with a genetic sample in the Michigan Genomics Initiative (MGI). We quickly found that more than half the bariatric surgery patients had a SNP analysis available for further study, and were able to review a breakdown of the demographics, BMI, and other comorbidities for these patients. Armed with this knowledge, we are now contemplating a study to leverage these available resources to answer important questions about our patients.”

Professor, U-M Surgery
  • Do you need standard language for manuscripts (method, reference sections, etc.) or grant proposals (resources or environment sections)? Contact us!
  • Have you recently submitted any manuscripts in which you received data from DataDirect, EMERSE, or our Data Office analysts? We want to know about it! Email us.
  • With increasing national attention on the security and use of personal information, Michigan Medicine recently re-examined its policies and practices on sharing human data and biospecimens, which previously had been shared largely at the discretion of individual faculty. In the Policy for the Transfer of Human Data & Biospecimens to Industry and Non-Academic and Non-Governmental Entities, data and biospecimens should be collected under transparent informed consent that permits and promotes the maximal use and value of the data and biospecimens consistent with the permission of the donors. It is effective immediately. Get more info and for questions about whether your project qualifies for this review, email us at or call 734-615-2100.

UMMS Data Office | 734-615-2100