Biomedical Informatics Core offers new and expanded patient data access to UIC researchers

Lauren Walsh
Post date: 
December 8, 2017



The UIC Clinical Information Repository for Cohort Learning and Exploration (UIC CIRCLE) is a comprehensive service package designed to provide UIC researchers with patient data through an informative in-person consultation, formal data request, and secure data delivery.  

researcher holds stethoscope up to health data point iconsCIRCLE uses date from the UIC Clinical Research Data Warehouse (CRDW) a research data repository that provides a single, secure, managed release point for human subjects’ data for use in research. The CRDW contains data from various sources such as the electronic medical record (EMR), medical billing systems, and legacy systems.

Managed by the CCTS Biomedical Informatics Core, CIRCLE’s team of diverse and skilled consultants provide campus investigators guidance on the best and most appropriate use of clinical data for research purposes. Consultants also ensure compliance with HIPAA and IRB requirements, as well as the secure transfer and storage of sensitive data.

CIRCLE’s capabilities include the generation of aggregate counts as well as full clinical data extracts. Aggregate counts would include general counts of clinical data, like the number of patients seen for a particular condition. Some count requests can be self-generated using QUICKSet. Clinical data extracts include complex sets of clinical data for a study, such as identifiable patient information or specific queries on particular cohorts.

Currently available data elements include:

  • Patient demographic information
  • General visit descriptions
  • Diagnoses information
  • Procedure information
  • Vitals (blood pressure, temperature, etc.)
  • General patient information (height, weight, BMI, etc.)
  • Lab tests  
  • Lab results
  • Medication orders

IRB approval and/or data usage agreements may be required for particular data requests. Learn more about required documentation for datasets.


QUICKSet is a cohort discovery mart  that contains de-identified clinical data from UIC CIRCLE in a de-identified data store. This self-service online platform allows UIC researchers to easily obtain aggregate patient counts. 

QUICKSet’s i2b2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside) platform is a scalable informatics framework created by the NIH-funded National Center for Biomedical Computing (NCBC). It is designed to bridge clinical research data and the vast data banks arising from scientific research. Investigators can quickly establish the feasibility of a research study or clinical trial, work through hypotheses by continually modifying searches, and identify potential cohorts for clinical trials. 

Before receiving QUICKSet access, users must first complete a mandatory training module. The training will give users a fundamental understanding of how QUICKSet works, including key demographics, using the data dictionary, correct search terms, and how to run queries. 

For immediate assistance with clinical informatics, consultations and assistance using QUICKSet are available by request via the CCTS Service Request System.