Much of the data needed for research and quality improvement are only available in clinical notes. EMERSE provides users with the ability to search these valuable sources of data.

About EMERSE

EMERSE (Electronic Medical Record Search Engine) allows users to search free text (unstructured) clinical notes from the electronic health record (EHR). It can be thought of like "Google" for clinical notes.

EMERSE

Much of the data needed for research and quality improvement are only available in clinical notes. EMERSE provides users with the ability to search these valuable sources of data.

About EMERSE

EMERSE (Electronic Medical Record Search Engine) allows users to search free text (unstructured) clinical notes from the electronic health record (EHR). It can be thought of like "Google" for clinical notes. The tool was developed at the University of Michigan in 2005; UNC-Chapel Hill launched EMERSE in October 2017. EMERSE can support a variety of tasks, including clinical and translational research, internal quality improvement and quality assurance initiatives, as well as hospital operational support tasks.

EMERSE contains fully identified clinical notes from UNC Health Care.

Who can use EMERSE?

EMERSE users must:

  • Be paid employees of UNC-Chapel Hill or UNC Health Care. Students may only receive access to EMERSE if they are paid employees/interns etc. (i.e., in UNC's HR system)
  • Meet the necessary regulatory requirements
  • Complete the required training

EMERSE Regulatory Requirements

All data in EMERSE are considered protected health information (PHI) under HIPAA and should be treated as such.

All searches in EMERSE must have a definitive purpose related to a predetermined operational, quality improvement, or research need. All EMERSE users will be required to attest a purpose for each EMERSE session. Research users will be able to select from a list of applicable IRBs. Note that your IRBs will only be available in EMERSE if they (1) are currently approved and active, and (2) have requested and received a waiver of HIPAA in section D.3. Operational users will also have the opportunity to note a purpose in a free text field. We ask that operational users include a clear and definitive purpose for their session (e.g., project title).

EMERSE Training

Online, self-paced EMERSE training is accessible through the UNC Health Care System's LMS. This 30-45 minute training covers what EMERSE is, regulatory requirements of EMERSE, and basic EMERSE functionality.

Effective May 1, 2019, EMERSE training is required for all users, regardless of whether they are University or health system employees.

Instructions

  1. Before you can take a course through the UNCHCS LMS, you must have a UNCHCS domain account. If you do not have one, you may request one using this form: University Employee EMERSE Access Request
  2. Use your UNHCS domain account to log into myapps.unch.unc.edu and launch LMS.
  3. Once LMS is launched, click on the search icon in the upper right corner and search for HCSNCTEMERSE to find the Introduction to EMERSE course.
  4. After you have completed the course, you will need to request access via ARC.
    view instructions (pdf)

If you experience problems with Citrix, LMS, or ARC, please contact the UNC Health Care Service Desk: 984.974.4357.

If you have any questions, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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