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2011 HSR&D National Meeting Abstract

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2011 National Meeting

2019 — Understanding Content of and Access to Major VA Data Sources Useful for Health Services Research

Hynes D (VIREC, Hines VAMC), Kok L (VIREC), Nebeker J (VINCI, Salt Lake City VAMC), Barrett V (VINCI), Scehnet J (VINCI)

Workshop Objectives:
Knowledge about and access to VA data for research are essential in health services research. Data are becoming more readily available in new venues with new structures. Data access in the VA is a complex and evolving process. Two major data venues in development now include the Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) and the VA Informatics Computing Infrastructure (VINCI) both a source for data and a virtualized environment for using data. A data access tool in development is the Data Access Request Tracker (DART) that includes new software and new processes. The goal of this workshop is to provide an overview of the content and use of some of the major data sources used in health services research in the VA and to provide up-to-date information about where the data are and how to obtain access. Participants in this workshop will: 1. Be knowledgeable about the data elements available, file formats, source data, and currency of the MedSAS data sets; 2. Be knowledgeable about the layout and contents of the CDW, including relational and SAS formats; 3. Appreciate the potential uses of these data for research through presentation and discussion of management and research examples; 4. Understand how the MedSAS and CDW data compare to other VA data sources; 5. Be knowledgeable about the requirements and procedures for using the data sources in research; 6. Learn about the data currently available on VINCI; 7. Understand VINCI’s role as a virtualized environment for data management and analysis; and 8. Understand the request process through the Data Access Request Tracker software application.

Activities:
1. Denise Hynes will describe the structure and content of the Inpatient and Outpatient Medical SAS Datasets and the Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) data sets and offer examples of their use in research; 2. VINCI staff will describe the data currently available on VINCI, and how researchers can request and use data within the VINCI environment; 3. Jeffrey Scehnet and/or Linda Kok will describe the Data Access Request Tracker (DART) software application that is currently used to manage data requests for multiple data sources; and 4. Time will be set aside for audience discussion of recent experiences utilizing new resources and questions about obtaining authorization to use VA data.

Target Audience:
VA researchers with plans to use VA databases, particularly Medical SAS datasets, VA data available on VINCI or Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW), and VA data with access managed using DART.

Assumed Audience Familiarity with Topic:
New researchers and those with a basic familiarity with the use of existing VA databases for research will benefit most from this workshop.


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