Project Title

Scalable Architecture for Federated Translational Inquiries Network (SAFTINET)

Shortened Title


Publication Date


Author Information

Lisa M. Schilling, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Associate Professor

University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine


The overall goal of this project is to enhance the capacity and capability of a safety net-focused distributed research network to conduct prospective comparative effectiveness research (CER) using existing electronic health records and claims data. The Scalable Architecture for Federated Translational Inquiries Network (SAFTINet) federates geographically dispersed safety net entities that collectively serve markedly diverse underserved populations. SAFTINet both leverages and extends the established governance and technologic capabilities of the Distributed Ambulatory Research in Therapeutics Network (DARTNet) to support secure, flexible data sharing options based on grid technology. This multi-state project will allow researchers, health policy experts, payers, clinicians, and patients to better understand the impact of a wide variety of health care interventions on health outcomes for minority, underserved and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. For more information, visit

Infrastructure Aims

This project will establish:

• Learning community of stakeholders invested in the health and health care of safety net populations, including formal processes for stakeholder engagement in research and data governance;

• Common data model for electronic clinical and claims data from diverse healthcare organizations that can support multi-site comparative effectiveness research and quality improvement;

• Mechanism for the extraction, transforma­tion and loading (ETL) of electronic health records and claims data into secure, query­able, federated grid-enabled databases;

• Framework for data quality assessment and transparency; and

• Secure portal for performing federated queries, with user authentication and authorization and logging capabilities.

Primary Research Aims

• To develop and enhance four sentinel cohort pairs of patients with asthma (in children and adults), hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia distinguished by their care delivery characteristics for com­parative effectiveness research; and

• To enhance the available data by imple­menting the collection of clinically rel­evant patient-reported outcomes.

Healthcare Settings

Primary care or ambulatory clinics

Geographic scope type


Locations of Focus

Multiple regions—states include Colorado, Utah, Tennessee

Population Network Size


Informatics Platform/Tools

Translational Informatics and Data Management Grid (TRIAD) federated query data server; Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP) common data model

Grant Type

Scalable Distributed Research Networks

Major Partners

University of Colorado School of Medicine (lead site); American Academy of Family Physicians; Cherokee Health Systems; Colorado Community Managed Care Network and the Colorado Associated Community Health Information Enterprise; Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing; Denver Health and Hospital Authority; Metro Community Provider Network; QED Clinical, d/b/a CINA; Salud Family Health Centers; Ohio State University

CER/PCOR Study Priority Populations

Low-income groups, Minority groups, Women, Children, The elderly, Individuals who need chronic care, Individuals who live in inner-city areas, Individuals who live in rural areas

Outcome(s) of Interest

Health care utilization, hospitalizations, and patient-reported asthma control using the Asthma Control Test (ACT); Blood pressure control, timely mea­surement of blood pressure; Cholesterol control; Medication Adherence

Acknowledgement of Funders

SAFTINET is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, Grant R01-HS019908.