The Institute for Healthcare Informatics (IHI) is a secure computing center — compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) — that stores, aggregates and innovatively analyzes health care data to apply medical informatics in clinical and academic settings.
Part of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the IHI data repository houses almost 700,000 fully identified patient records and limited-data sets of claims for 1.5 million individuals. IHI’s production data capacity is 14.1 terabytes of encrypted storage, with clustered servers that have the ability to scale as data and transaction needs grow. Protected health information (PHI) data is safeguarded by employing multilayered security, including a scalable, virtual PC environment that can be tailored, based on user requirements, for Microsoft Windows or Linux to run researchers’ tools. This virtual environment is flexible and can be expanded as requirements change.
In addition to housing an electronic collection of health data, IHI offers expertise in HIPAA, human subjects research and other regulatory areas and provides investigators with a service identifying potential cohorts for clinical research and recruitment databases for clinical trials. IHI hosts tools for cohort identification and feasibility studies such as an i2b2 dashboard, and has partnered with TrinetX to provide access to industry-funded clinical trials. IHI also provides hosting services for secure storage and collection of sensitive health care information. A smaller development and test environment is available for development purposes.
IHI tools are available to all UB researchers with access granted through the IHI web portal. Clients typically include those in biomedical informatics, data management, research computing and at the Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI).