IGS will continue supporting and sustaining the Veterans Informatics and Computing Infrastructure (VINCI) as part of the FirstView Federal TS team. VINCI is an initiative to improve researchers’ access to VA data and to facilitate data analysis ensuring privacy and data security. It is the largest clinical data warehouse in the federal government, and is critical to providing and improving care for our nation’s veterans, and we are determined to ensure it runs smoothly.
The mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Information & Technology (OIT), Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Office of Research and Development (ORD) is to provide benefits and services to Veterans of the United States. In meeting these goals, OIT strives to provide high quality, effective, and efficient Information Technology services to those responsible for providing care to the Veterans at the point-of-care as well as throughout all the points of the Veterans’ health care in an effective, timely and compassionate manner. VA depends on Information Management/Information Technology systems to meet the mission goals.
VINCI is a partnership between OIT and VHA ORD. VINCI provides the storage and server technologies to securely host databases integrated from select national data. This gives researchers the ability to access the data along with the tools for reporting and analysis in a secure, virtual working environment. VINCI also provides the research community with tools to support data access requests, dataset acquisition, text processing, analysis, and collaboration. Initial services have been offered to researchers from the Consortium for Health Informatics Research (CHIR). The broader VA research community was included beginning in FY11. Eventually, VINCI will facilitate research collaboration beyond the VA and incorporate non-VA data sources. VINCI currently provides the VA research community with:
Shared Research Environment
Protected Development Environment
Secure and controlled access to data
Tools for analysis and publication
VINCI will provide researchers access to integrated databases containing large amounts of national clinical and administrative data, including all of the CDW data and critical data sources currently used by researchers.
VINCI will also provide researchers a set of consolidated processes and procedures to access data which will ensure compliance with all VA policies. VINCI is working closely with the Office of Health Information (OHI), National Data Systems (NDS), Veterans Information Resource Center (VIReC), and the VHA Privacy Office to define and create standardized procedures for approving and permitting the use of VHA data. Once the standardized procedures are created, VINCI will build a Data Access Request Tool (DART) which will provide a way for researches to request authorization to access VHA data as well as providing the applicant the ability to track the progress of the authorization process. Additionally, the DART tool will allow VINCI staff the ability to grant access to VHA data for applicants and audit the use of the data requested.
VINCI works with the research community to gain an understanding of the types of research that can be accomplished with the data and tools available. To assist the 300+ researchers in the VA as well as researchers in other sectors with data access, dataset acquisition, text data processing tools, and collaboration tools, VINCI will provide a help desk. The help desk staff will consist of both research and OI&T staff with expertise in VINCI and the ability to route and escalate issues to obtain resolution.
For more information about VINCI visit: http://www.hsrd.research.va.gov/for_researchers/vinci/