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PRA Tips

Conducting Your Study at AHS


Tips for Data Access

  • If requesting Netcare, please review eligibility criteria for use of Netcare for research purposes:  Ineligible studies will not be approved for access.
  • If research staff currently has clinical access to a certain system, we may need to request research access permission from the system.  For systems that do not differentiate between clinical/research access levels, we will document it within EDGE that the researcher will be using their clinical access for research purposes.  Therefore, it's helpful to know if the staff has current clinical access and to which system(s).
  • All staff accessing AHS systems for research purposes are required to be listed on the REB application.
  • For studies without patient consent, please explore the option of data extraction (meaning a data product extracted from data source by an AHS analyst/ Information Manager) prior to requesting direct access. Let us know what you need, we might be able to help find a source for extracted data (
  • If the data is being collected without patient consent as a part of a registry or for an undefined future purpose, AHS will work to de-identify the data elements as much as possible in accordance with AHS Non-Identifying Standards:
  • If DIMR-AHSDRR data is requested, please ensure a data request has been submitted.  Instructions are found here:


Expectations for Patient Recruitment

  • Review AHS' best practices for patient recruitment
  • Please note that if the REB has issues a "waiver of consent" for the purposes of patient recruitment, AHS will work with you to identify a strategy to minimize the amount of information disclosed that will meet the needs of the your study.
  • For recruitment purposes, research staff should not directly access identifiable health information and/or patient contact information from AHS systems without AHS approval or informed patient consent.
  • The Researcher shall not approach any potential study participant until an AHS employee or member of the care team has informed the patient of the study and obtained the patient's approval to be approached by a member of the research team.


Tips for Accessing AHS Operational Areas

  • Visit the Operational Approval Resources page to find a list of operational areas and key contacts.
  • Indicating both the unit name and the unit number of the clinical area you want to access for your research study will facilitate the operational approval process.
  • All Edmonton Zone operational approvals are managed by NACTRC.  Please visit for more information.