Project Title

Scalable National Network for Effectiveness Research (SCANNER)

Shortened Title


Publication Date


Author Information

Lucila Ohno-Machado, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine, Chief of Division of Biomedical Informatics, Associate Dean for Informatics and Technology

University of California San Diego


The overall goal of this project is to develop a secure, scalable distributed infrastructure that facilitates collaborative comparative effectiveness research (CER) among widely dispersed institutions and provides flexibility to participant sites in the means for data sharing. This flexibility will be implemented by allowing codification of data sharing policies - each institution will specify its own policies. SCANNER will connect diverse healthcare delivery settings with secure infrastructure that utilizes data collected at the point of care. The network will have a main node that manages policies, distributes queries, aggregates results, and maintains trust and security (authentication, authorization, auditing, etc.). Each site will maintain a node that contains data from that site. For more information, visit

Infrastructure Aims

This project will create a network infrastructure that allows data sharing across institutions for conducting CER. The network is designed to support (a) retrospective analyses, (b) prospective observational studies, (c) clinical tri­als, and (d) feedback to point-of-care users. Near real-time collection, analy­sis, dissemination of results, and feed­back to the clinician will be enabled by an infrastructure that allows data to be exchanged according to policies speci­fied by individuals and institutions

Primary Research Aims

1. Develop and encode a flexible policy model; and

2. Demonstrate feasibility of the net­work for observational and interven­tional CER studies.

Healthcare Settings

Primary care or ambulatory clinics, Inpatient facilities, Academic medical centers, Community health centers

Geographic scope type


Locations of Focus

Varies by Study. Policy development - California, Massachusetts, Federal Veteran's Hospital; Medication surveillance CER - California, Massachusetts, Federal Veteran's Hospital; MTM CER - San Diego, California; BEARI - California, Massachusetts, Illinois

Population Network Size

1,607,486 patients

Informatics Platform/Tools

• The project is developing technology-independent clinical research platforms to share distributed heterogeneous data among SCANNER partners (consortium). • Distributed trust network accessed through technology from Resilient Network Systems. • Mediator: the software (from University of Southern California) to access distributed heterogeneous data • Analytical Module: the software to perform local analysis of data and collaborate on analysis results • Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP) Common Data Model • Support Software: Apache Tomcat, Apache ActiveMQ, MySQL, MSSQL, Windows, Ubuntu, CentOS, R

Grant Type

Scalable Distributed Research Networks

Major Partners

University of California San Diego (Lead Site); Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH); Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science; RAND Corporation; Resilient Network Systems; San Francisco State University (SFSU); Vanderbilt University Medical Center & TVHS Veterans Administration Hospital (TVHS VA); University of California Irvine

CER/PCOR Study Priority Populations

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

Outcome(s) of Interest

Policy Development Study: Perspectives of all users of electronic data systems, includ­ing patients whose health care data may be incorporated into such models (to inform policy development)

• Medication surveillance: major and minor bleeding

• Medication therapy management: demograph­ic information, clinical endpoints, therapeutic interventions, patient reports (if available)

Acknowledgement of Funders

SCANNER is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 grant R01 HS19913-01.