Peter Winkelstein, MD, MBA, executive director of the Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

We are a secure computing center — compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) — that stores, aggregates and innovatively analyzes health care data.

Institute for Health Informatics

Welcome to the Institute for Healthcare Informatics (IHI)! Our organization is dedicated to improving the health of communities locally, nationally, and globally through the secure storage, aggregation, provision, and innovative analysis of healthcare data. We collaborate with researchers to provide them with the necessary tools and support to conduct groundbreaking research. 

History and Collaborations

The IHI was established in 2012 with funding from the New York State (NYS) HEAL initiative. In 2014, we received additional funding as part of the Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics. Currently, the IHI plays a significant role as part of the UB Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program.

The IHI has forged a close partnership with Great Lakes Health (GLH), which includes UBMD, Kaleida Health, and ECMC. This partnership with GLH benefits both UB and Kaleida, providing improved access to data for research, quality assurance/quality improvement (QA/QI), and clinical trials. Joint executive positions, including the Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) and Chief Research Informatics Officer (CRIO), are held by representatives from both UB and Kaleida. Collaboration is further fostered through the Kaleida Research Innovation Committee, chaired by the CRIO, which includes key GLH stakeholders to promote interdisciplinary collaboration.

The IHI is part of the TriNetX Research Network, allowing researchers to access data sets from multiple institutions. 

Clinically Integrated Healthcare Data Repository (CIDR)

One of the key components of the IHI is the UB Clinically Integrated Healthcare Data Repository (CIDR). This repository holds electronic health record (EHR) and claims data for the vast majority of the diverse Western New York (WNY) population. By leveraging the CIDR, researchers gain access to comprehensive and diverse datasets that enable a wide range of research endeavors.

Services and Support

The IHI offers a range of services and support to researchers:

1. Data Access: We provide researchers with access to healthcare data, ensuring the security and privacy of patient information.

2. Secure Storage: Our secure infrastructure ensures the confidentiality and integrity of the data stored in the IHI.

3. Secure Compute Services: Researchers can utilize our secure compute environment for data analysis and processing.

4. Analytic Support Services: We offer analytic support, assisting researchers in utilizing the available data effectively.

5. End-User Query Tools: The IHI focuses on making data readily available through user-friendly tools such as i2b2 and TriNetX, empowering researchers to explore and analyze fully deidentified data efficiently.

Supporting Clinical Trials

The IHI actively supports clinical trials and streamlines the research process through various initiatives:

1. Speed-to-Value: We focus on enhancing recruitment and rapid cohort identification using state-of-the-art end-user query tools like i2b2 and TriNetX.

2. Industry-Sponsored Trials: We identify industry-sponsored clinical trials with eligible local patients using TriNetX, facilitating their participation in cutting-edge research.

3. Privacy and Security: As an honest broker, the IHI ensures the privacy and security of patient data by following appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocols.

4. Streamlined Processes: We have established a streamlined process for researchers to identify and recruit eligible patients using synthetic identifiers.