Investigators interested in conducting clinical, epidemiological, and pharmacoepidemiological research can obtain easy access to several large population-based automated databases that are available in-house at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB). These databases include Medicaid and linked Medicare claims data from five of the largest states in the US, as well as medical records data from the practices of general practitioners in the UK, and a virtual warehouse containing outpatient electronic medical records and inpatient data from the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Also available is the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) database, containing information on consumer, provider and manufacturer-reported adverse events, potentially related pharmaceuticals, and outcomes, when known. The cost and time needed to complete research based on analyses of secondary data such as these are much lower than what is required to collect data de novo. These databases include extensive information on diagnoses, treatments, procedures, and labs associated with patients’ encounters with the medical establishment in well-defined population areas.
In addition to access to the entire databases, there are also files containing data from 10% random samples of these data, created for convenience and more efficient use of these data, especially useful for preliminary testing of all study variables, methods, and analyses.
Data dictionaries and manuals describing each of the databases are available, as well as a large library of disease and drug codes that can be useful to help define exposure, outcome, and confounding variables.
Detailed descriptions of each of the databases and examples of published research based on these databases are provided as well.