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Requesting AHS Data Resources

Research & Innovation

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Data Extraction | Data by Direct Access | REDCap

The data within AHS can be made available for research purposes under certain terms and conditions, and can be accessed either by data extraction (done by an AHS data analyst) or by direct access to an AHS IT system.

Prior to the data access, the research study must be approved by a Research Ethics Board (REB) designated under Alberta’s Health Information Act (HIA). Whether data is obtained by extraction or by direct access, the researcher is required to enter into an agreement with AHS for the data disclosure. This agreement could be in the form of a Clinical Trial Agreement (CTA), Sub-Site Agreement, HIA Research Agreement (HIA RA) or a Data Disclosure Agreement (DDA). Please contact a member of the Health System Access (HSA) team to determine the appropriate agreement to suit your needs.

To ensure the privacy protection of AHS health information, the sharing or transfer of AHS data to any external entity must be reviewed and approved by HSA. Data sharing without explicit consent must comply with AHS’ Non-Identifying Health Information Standard.

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Data Extraction

Data sources from which the extraction was obtained must be documented by HSA. If you have an REB-approved study requiring extraction services, contact research.administration@ahs.ca.

If the research study requires data extraction services and the research team is unsure of how to source the data, contact research.administration@ahs.ca.

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Data by Direct Access

Direct IT Access for research purposes will only be considered for those who are listed as study staff or research personnel on an REB-approved study.  All systems accessed must be authorized and documented on a study-by-study, person-by-person basis. To request authorization to obtain data by direct access, contact research.administration@ahs.ca.

Netcare is a commonly requested direct access system for research. Netcare information may be used in research only when the study meets all of the requirements set forth in the Alberta Netcare Information Exchange Protocol and authorization for research use has been obtained from HSA.

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Electronic Data Capture Tool - REDCap in Alberta

Below is contact information for researchers interested in using REDCap as their electronic data capture tool for clinical research.

  • For quality improvement projects within AHS, you can use the AHS instance of REDCap at primarydatasupport@ahs.ca
  • In Calgary, for ethically approved research projects you can go the Clinical Research Unit (CRU) at the University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine for support. The CRU has provided AHS with a security assessment for REDCap, and AHS provides them with funding to provide support for AHS research projects.
  • In Edmonton, research projects can get support through the Women & Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI).

If you would like more comprehensive support, you can also apply through the Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit (AbSPORU) portal. Applications to AbSPORU are reviewed for support and if they meet the criteria, they can get partially funded support from the appropriate AbSPORU Platform(s).

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