Robust information and
data resources

A rich ecosystem of information and data resources and technology supports research within our region and in collaboration with other sites. We frequently partner with other institutions and collaborative networks to further enhance our research capabilities.

Electronic health records

Kaiser Permanente’s integrated model links care and health records. This makes it possible for research teams to ask and answer questions that will change our understanding of health conditions and find better ways to address them. It also provides a unique opportunity to disseminate findings back to frontline clinicians to improve care delivery and health outcomes.

Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, our comprehensive electronic health record system, integrates all aspects of care across our care delivery system. This includes pharmacy and lab services, as well as appointments, registration, and billing.

For a half century before the implementation of our electronic health record, Kaiser Permanente was actively developing information systems and tools to support clinical work. These legacy systems, coupled with our stable member population, provide a rich source of information for longitudinal studies.

Data systems and infrastructure

Our department has developed multiple data systems to support research within our department and at medical centers around the region.

Our Research Data Warehouse houses information drawn from Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect and other clinical systems, as well as insurance claims, state records, and legacy systems. It includes information in nearly 2 dozen content areas, including lab, pharmacy, radiology, utilization, and more.

Our region also develops and maintains registries and case identification tools that support patient care and research, including bariatric surgery, cancer, depression, HIV, prostate cancer, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes case identification.

Data for collaborative research

The Virtual Data Warehouse was created by the Health Care Systems Research Network to facilitate multi-site research projects. Local variables are standardized using consistent naming, definitions, and formats, allowing researchers at different sites to generate comparable data. It is “virtual” in the sense that physical data remain at each of the participating sites.

Computing environment

Our research data center houses dedicated high-performance servers for the research program in a high-security environment with built-in power and data redundancy systems. Research tools supported on the local area network include secure web applications to develop and manage online surveys, data systems, and forms.