Requesting AHS Data Resources

If a research study utilizes or involves AHS resources, it is recommended that the research team have early dialogue with the a member of the AHS Health Systems Access (HSA) team to discuss database selection. It is helpful for the research team to have the following information on hand:

  • A description of the research question in lay language
  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Number of subjects needed and timeframe for study activities
  • Study activities expected to conduct (i.e. accessing databases or conducting chart reviews)

If the research study requires data extraction services and the research team is unsure of how to source the data, contact research.administration@ahs.ca.

Apply for Ethics Approval

Submit a Request to the SPOR Data Platform

Obtain AHS Research Operations Documents

Obtain the Data

Step 1: Apply for ethics approval

Apply for Ethics Approval


Complete TCPS 2: CORE training

Prior to completing an ethics application, all study participants must complete TCPS 2: CORE online training modules. The course encompasses the 2nd edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement and includes guidelines on how to ethically conduct research involving humans.

Register for an IRISS account

Once TCPS 2: CORE certified, create an account with the online human ethics submission management system, IRISS. This platform houses the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board (CHREB) submission form. 

Apply for ethics approval through the CHREB

Ethics approval must be obtained from the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board (CHREB). The CHREB is a Research Ethics Board housed at the University of Calgary that reviews applications from researchers affiliated with the Faculties of Nursing, Medicine and Kinesiology. New applications to the CHREB are created and submitted online using the Institutional Research Information Services Solution (IRISS) online program. There are no paper application forms.

Documents submitted with application:

  1. Study Protocol
  2. Budget Summary
  3. Department Approval
  4. Other forms are required based on your study type and data needed

The PI is responsible for submission of the ethics application as well as any subsequent modifications.

For more information on CHREB guidelines, eligibility requirements, forms and templates or to submit your IRISS ethics application into the online platform, click below.


Step 2L Submit a request to the SPOR Data Platform

Submit a request to the SPOR data platform.


Click on the button below to open the AbSPORU Data Request Form. Save the document to your device before completing. Changes may be lost if the form is completed in the browser window. An approved ethics application number is required.

Once complete, submit the request to spor@albertainnovates.ca.


Step 3

Obtain Alberta Health Services research operations documents


The AHS Health Systems Access (HSA) team will prepare the Data Disclosure Agreement (DDA) and the Provincial Research Administration Study Summary (PRA) 

The approved CHREB ethics submission will be automatically forwarded to Alberta Health Services Health System Access (HSA) team. The PRA can be filled out in 1 of 2 ways: (1) The HSA team will send a link with the PRA to the research team to complete or (2) the PRA can be completed in advance by following the link below. Whichever way the PRA is received, it will be linked to the respective study and the Information gathered will be used to draft and process the AHS operational approval. 

Once the HSA team reviewed the PRA and are satisfied with the request, the researcher is required to enter into a DDA with AHS to ensure the proper release of health data.


Step 4 : Obtain the data

Obtain the data


Data Extraction and Linkage

A fully executed DDA enables you to request or directly access data from Alberta Health Services for your research purposes.

Data must be extracted from the various databases and prepared for linkage. The HSA team will work with you to complete this process.

and you will also need to move all of your data securely. For example, you may want to encrypt the data in transit as a security measure.

 

Data Delivery

The data will be released to requestors through AHS email account or a secure FTP link.

The University of Calgary offers different platforms for data storage and analytics based on data classification level. These security measures must be included in the CHREB application. Therefore, it is recommended that this be decided upon early.

Data Linkage Graphic

You've received the data, now what?

CHI offers a wide range of analytic services to supplement the completion of health data research studies.

Learn more