Monthly Archives: March 2017

Recommended: PheKB. A knowledge base for discovering phenotypes from electronic health records

Some of the work I am doing right now could be characterized as discovering phenotypes from electronic health records. So when one of my co-workers mentioned this database, I thought “Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!” This is a list of validated algorithms for various systems, and typically refers to a peer-reviewed publication. So once I get my stuff published, I’m heading here next. Continue reading

Recommended: Medicare Claims Synthetic Public Use Files (SynPUFs)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides researchers with access to Medicare claims data, which is a wonderful resources. But you have to sign a restrictive agreement before they will give you this data and you have to pay a non-trivial amount of money to get the data. Fair enough, because CMS has to guarantee patient confidentiality among other things. But what if you want to “play” with the data before taking the plunge? Thankfully, CMS has provided to the general public a synthetic (read fake) data set that has the same data structure. This allows you to prototype your programs on the synthetic data and then transition easily to the real data. Continue reading

Recommended: Conducting Clinical Research

This is a website associated with a very nice book on the pragmatic aspects of running a clinical trial. I came across this site because I was looking for a simple example of a letter to doctors asking them to help recruit patients for a clinical trial. This was in an appendix along with other nice examples of things like case report forms, serious adverse event forms, HIPAA consent template, etc. You can download a free PDF version of this book or you can buy a paper copy. Continue reading