STARR Tools

The STAnford Research Repository, or STARR, is Stanford Medicine's approved resource for working with clinical data for research purposes. The STARR IRB permits the collection and aggregation of all data generated at Stanford for clinical care purposes, and articulates the formal approval process each research project must follow in order to obtain and work with this data for research purposes.

STARR is the home of two web tools, one for Cohort Discovery, the other for Chart Review.

This step-by-step guide provides an overview of all available options for using the Cohort Discovery and Chart Review Tools. The most popular choice is self-provisioned chart review

Step 1 - Cohort Discovery

All clinical data at Stanford Medicine, including EHR data from both hospitals as well as data from various clinical ancillary systems, is available for research through the auspices of the Research Informatics Center.

If this is your first time using clinical data for research, your first step should be to familiarize yourself with the Cohort Discovery Tool. Its most powerful feature is the ability to search for text in clinical documents and reports, since so much clinical information is recorded in narrative rather than structured form.

The Cohort Discovery tool lets you count the approximate number of patients with the clinical characteristics of interest. If enough patients are found suitable for study, you can then save the list for subsequent online review of their charts.

For more information on the types of clinical data we have available both through Cohort Discovery and other tools and services, please refer to our clinical research data inventory.

Step 2 - Compliance

The Cohort Discovery Tool lets you see patient counts and some simple summary statistics, but most research projects then wish to delve deeper and either conduct online chart review or work with structured datasets extracted from the clinical research data repository.

In order to work with detailed clinical data for research purposes at Stanford Medicine, you must have either a valid IRB protocol or a letter of NHS Determination from the Stanford IRB.

If you are not familiar yet with the Stanford IRB, you can read more about compliance here.

Step 3 - Chart Review & Data Download

Once you have an approved IRB protocol or a letter of Non Human Subjects Research from the Stanford Research Compliance Office (RCO) you can use the Cohort Discovery Tool to provision a list of patients for review in the Chart Review Tool using this step by step guide.

The Chart Review tool has a built-in capability to export data in .csv file format.

If any information pertinent to your research is not available online, you can get in touch with the Research Informatics Center to request a custom data extraction.