CER Databases & Studies

The use of large, population-based healthcare databases is a critical component of current and future CER.

CER is focused on the broad population of patients who are seen every day in clinical care, as opposed to a much smaller group of patients who meet the inclusion/exclusion criteria for a clinical trial.

Over the past several years, the number and availability of healthcare databases has increased at UNC. Fostering the use and understanding of these databases in preparation for future external grant funding opportunities is of significant interest to us. Our CTSA partner, Research Triangle Institute (RTI), also has access to various healthcare databases that may be useful for CER.

Following is a list of databases available at UNC and RTI. For study examples, visit the Study Examples page.

UNC Sheps Center for Health Services Research Data Resources

The Sheps Center stores and manages various data resources for use in health services research. There are varying rules for who can use these data, and how they can be accessed.

Data Resource and Website Link

Access Limits

Data Access

Carolina Cost and Quality Initiative — BCBSNC Claims Data & North Carolina State Health Plan Claims Data. Access Limited to UNC-CH Students and UNC-CH Researchers By application. There may be programming costs beyond preliminary discussions and data extractions.
MarketScan® Data — Commercial Claims and Encounters and Medicare Supplemental Databases. Access Limited to UNC-CH Students and UNC-CH Researchers By application. In some circumstances fees are charged.
Medicare 20% Sample — a 20% representative sample of all Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older with fee-for–service coverage of Medicare Parts A, B, and D. UNC-CH Students and UNC-CH Researchers. Project-specific data use agreement with CMS needed By application. There may be programming costs beyond preliminary discussions and data extractions.
Medicaid MAX Data — MAX Medicaid data and date of death files for California, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas. UNC-CH Students and UNC-CH Researchers. Project-specific data use agreement with CMS needed. By application. There may be programming costs beyond preliminary discussions and data extractions.
Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) — a sample of U.S. emergency department visits. Access limited to UNC-CH students and UNC-CH researchers. By application. There may be programming costs beyond preliminary discussions and data extractions.
Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) — a sample of U.S. hospitals and all discharges from those hospitals. Access limited to UNC-CH students and UNC-CH researchers. By application. There may be programming costs beyond preliminary discussions and data extractions.
North Carolina Hospital Discharge Data — Inpatient, Emergency Room and Ambulatory Surgery/Outpatient Hospital Data. Academic / Public Health Researchers only By application. In some circumstances fees or programming costs are charged.
SEER-Medicare — a linked database of individuals diagnosed with 18 selected cancers who are linked to their Medicare fee-for–service claims data, including Medicare Parts
A, B, and D.
UNC-CH Students and UNC-CH Researchers. Project-specific data use agreement with SEER-Medicare needed. By application. There may be programming costs beyond preliminary discussions and data extractions.

Data at RTI

Data Resource and Website Link

Access Limits

Data Access

Global Network — interventions to improve maternal and child morbidity and mortality in the developing world None By application. Requires Data Use Agreement with Global Network.
Neonatal Research Network — research to improve the health of critically ill newborns, including low birth weight and premature infants None By application. Requires Data Use Agreement with Neonatal Research Network.
Pelvic Floor Disorders Network — research on the care of women with pelvic floor disorders None Public use data from completed and published studies available to all.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. can provide additional information on ongoing studies that will become available in the near term.

UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Integrated Cancer Information and Surveillance System (ICISS) provides the informatics foundation for optimizing cancer outcomes in North Carolina and beyond by linking and accessing multiple population, clinical, and other data sources. Visit iciss.unc.edu to learn more.

Examples

See examples of CER studies using secondary databases