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Electronic Health Records Research Symposium

Accessing Electronic Health Record Data for Human Subjects Research: Challenges and Solutions

Information in electronic health records (EHRs) is a valuable resource for large-scale data analysis; however, access to that information can be challenging. Problems encountered range from policy and regulatory barriers to technical infrastructure incompatibilities. The keys to unlocking researcher access to EHRs are understanding the challenges and developing solutions that allow utilization of this valuable resource to conduct high quality biomedical research.

This symposium provided a forum for stakeholders to work together to expand the availability of clinical information for research and discovery while providing the required oversight to protect private health information. See links to presenters' slides from titles below.


  • Understand the policy, regulatory, and technical challenges that limit access to electronic health records (EHRs) for research.
  • Identify solutions to the challenges that limit access to EHRs for research.
  • Design human subject research protocols to access the clinical data contained in EHRs while protecting private health information.

Target Audience:

  • Biomedical Investigators
  • Hospital Administrators
  • Privacy Officers
  • Compliance Professionals
  • IRB Professionals


Thursday, August 2nd , 2012, 8:00 AM – 1:30 PM


Rieveschl Auditorium, Vontz Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (corner of Eden Ave. & Martin Luther King Dr.; see map).


A formal presentation on each topic followed by discussion with an expert panel and the audience. (complete agenda)

Brett Kissela, MD, MS, Professor, Department of Neurology, UC College of Medicine
A Comparison of Hemorrhagic and Ischemic Strokes among Blacks and Whites: A Population-Based Study in Greater Cincinnati
An investigator described a successful large-scale population-based study and a panel of investigators discussed their personal experiences with EHR research.

Mark McAndrew, JD and Sara Simrall Rorer, JD, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Regulatory Challenges and Solutions
Legal experts provided an overview of regulations that pertain to EHR research, followed by a roundtable discussion on developing solutions to regulatory barriers.

Keith Hepp, Interim CEO &VP of Business Development, HealthBridge
Technical Infrastructure Challenges and Solutions
A healthcare IT expert provided an overview of the technical infrastructure challenges to accessing EHR for research, followed by a roundtable discussion of approaches to merging data across institutions.

Peter J. Embi, MD, MS, Vice Chair, Biomedical Informatics, The Ohio State University
Leveraging EHRs to Advance Research and Improve Healthcare: Challenges and Opportunities
The vast potential for using EHRs to facilitate biomedical research and improve healthcare was discussed by an expert in the field, followed by a roundtable discussion of future opportunities to improve clinical care through EHR research.

This program is eligible for Certified IRB Professional (CRP) recertification credit. Presented by the Consortium of Greater Cincinnati IRBs (CGCI) with support from the CCTST and Greater Cincinnati Health Council.