Informatics and Research Tools

PCORnet Common Data Model (CDM)

The Mid-South CDRN uses the PCORnet CDM as the main syntactic and semantic standard. The PCORnet CDM leverages standard terminologies and coding systems for healthcare to enable interoperability with and responsiveness to evolving data standards. The current version (V3) has added upgrades which are analytically important for patient-centered outcomes research and feasible to standardize across sites.  All our DataMart’s are analysis ready and have been categorized as prep-to-research or research ready by PCORnet.

Click here to view CDM specification


REDCap is a secure, web-based application that allows users to build and manage online databases and surveys quickly and securely. REDCap uses a study-specific data dictionary to eliminate all programming requirements for the creation of electronic case report forms and participant survey instruments for individual studies. REDCap provides key features for data collection and management including, an intuitive interface for data entry with data validation, audit trails for tracking data manipulation and export procedures, an automated export procedures for seamless data downloads to common statistical packages such as SPSS, SAS, Stata, and R, procedures for importing data from external sources, and advanced features, such as branching logic and calculated fields.

More information about REDCap can be found on the REDCap website:

Synthetic Derivative

The Synthetic Derivative (SD) contains clinical information derived from Vanderbilt’s EHR but the data have been stripped of personal identifiers and modified to improve data reusability and utility for research. The SD currently contains >69 million documents on 2.5 million patients and is refreshed regularly to add new clinical information from the EHR as it is accrued. The SD contains data beginning in the early 1990s; data since 2005 include nearly all inpatient and outpatient billing codes, laboratory values, reports, and clinical documentation, almost all in electronic formats available for searching. Both structured (e.g., laboratory tests, ICD9/10 diagnosis codes) and unstructured but searchable data (e.g., narrative progress and procedure notes) are included. The SD can be used as a stand-alone clinical research resource or for searching and aggregating sets of cases for genomic analysis. The records in the SD are labeled with the same identifier as the BioVU DNA samples, thus enabling the link between the genetic material and de-identified clinical information.

Research Derivative

The Research Derivative is a database of clinical and related data derived from Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s clinical systems and restructured for research. The medical record number and other person identifiers are preserved within the database. Data types include reimbursement codes, clinical notes and documentation, nursing records, medication data, laboratory data, encounter and visit data, among others. Output may include structured data points such as ICD 9 codes or encounter dates, semi-structured data such as laboratory tests and results, or unstructured data such as physician progress reports. The database is maintained by the Office of Research Informatics under the direction of Paul Harris, Ph.D.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us via email.