RISE is committed to providing EVMS a direct link to healthcare analytics and delivery sciences services.

To learn about applying for RISE pilot funding, contact Dr. Brynn Sheehan at SheehaBE@EVMS.EDU

For questions related to research training (including boot camp) involving students, residents and follows, contact Dr. Brynn Sheehan at SheehaBE@EVMS.EDU

For questions about database design, management, or implementation using REDCap, contact Dr. Marilyn Bartholmae at BarthoMM@EVMS.EDU.

For any questions related to TriNetX account setup or how to perform queries using the TriNetX system, contact Mr. Michael Bittner, BittneMC@EVMS.edu

For any questions related to VHI database, contact Mr. Michael Bittner, BittneMC@EVMS.edu

For any questions related to EPIC, Allscipts, contact Dr. Fang Fang at FangF@EVMS.edu or Dr. Sunita Dodani at overtocz@EVMS.EDU.

If you have a general question about RISE services, contact the RISE helpdesk at RISE@EVMS.EDU or complete the service request form here.

Please see below for other frequently asked questions.




 Who can request RISE services?

Full-time faculty at EVMS may have up to 3 active projects with RISE at any given time; EVMS residents may have 2 active projects with RISE at any given time; EVMS students are welcomed to work with residents and faculty on their projects, utilize the training and research resources, and utilize the Virginia Health Information (VHI) and Trinetx databases for research endeavors. To submit a request to work with VHI data, please submit a Service Request form, with VHI Data Request Form and you will be contacted by a RISE staff member regarding specific VHI variable requests.  

If you have additional questions concerning TriNetX here are some additional resources through the TriNetX help center:

Training Center – TriNetX Help Center

Resources – TriNetX Help Center

FAQs – TriNetX Help Center

Return to top

What services does RISE offer?

The services available through RISE including the following:

  • Protocol development
  • Abstract preparation
  • Data analysis
  • Data coding
  • Data collection methods
  • Database design
  • Data management
  • Data safety monitoring
  • Evaluation methods
  • Health policy analysis
  • Interpretation of data analysis results
  • Power analysis
  • Qualitative research
  • Randomization and blinding
  • Research feasibility discussion to establish testable research hypotheses
  • Results presentation (tables, figures, etc.) for manuscripts and posters
  • Sample size calculation
  • Software usability or task analysis
  • Study design
  • Survey research
  • General consultation
  • Research Training and Resources

Return to top

How do I request RISE services?

To begin the consultation process, please fill in our service request form and direct any questions to RISE@evms.edu. We will schedule an initial consultation to discuss the project and estimate the amount of time that will be required. Basic questions and analytical problems can be solved during this initial meeting. However, sometimes further work and additional meetings are required.

Return to top


What data sources are available?


EPIC is the preferred electronic medical record system used by Sentara, as well as the nation with 45 percent of the US population having their medical records in the EPIC system.  Through our collaboration with Sentara Quality Research Institute, RISE can provide investigators with patient level data for all Sentara hospitals.  EPIC data requests require 6 months to a year to be completed.


RISE has access to 2008-2020 Virginia Health Information inpatient data through a data agreement with the EVMS Brock Institute. Virginia Health Information is a non-profit organization formed in 1993 to develop a broad range of health info with consumers partnered with the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Patient level line data is deidentified and includes patient demographics, hospital information, clinical diagnoses, cost, and readmissions.

Return to top


How do I request VHI data?

Before submitting a request for VHI data, please review the VHI Data Directory for more information about VHI and the variables included in the data. If the data would prove useful to a project please follow the following procedure:

  1. Submit a RISE service request form which should include the protocol for the request as well as the variables of interest
  2. The RISE data manager will check the availability of the requested variables to make sure the desired data is present and worthwhile
  3. The RISE data manager will send a VHI form to the PI for the signature before starting data extraction

Return to top

Who will help me with my request?

Each project will be performed by faculty or staff with the appropriate expertise. Services such as experimental design, development of statistical methodologies, protocol development, power analysis and sample-size calculation for grant proposals, data analysis using advanced statistical methods, interpretation of results and preparation of the statistical parts of manuscripts will require a PhD statistician. Data analysis using simple statistical methods, data entry, data cleaning, data management, interpretation and report of the results will be performed by a master-level MPH or research assistant under the supervision of a PhD statistician.

Return to top



Can I request a specific RISE team member to assist with my request?

No, a specific team member may not be requested. Given the complexity of most requests, very often in order to meet the deadlines, a single project can be handled by multiple RISE team members and prioritized based on existing workloads.

Return to top



At what stage of my research should I contact RISE for assistance?

We recommend contacting RISE at the planning stage of your research; the earlier the contact, the better.

Return to top



The deadline for my project is approaching quickly, will RISE still assist with my request?

Urgent requests may be submitted, but we cannot promise to meet your expectation if the given timeframe is not long enough.

Return to top



How long will it take for RISE to review my request?

RISE will respond to the request within 2 business days.

Return to top



What is the typical turnaround time for requested services?

The typical turnaround time for requested services will vary. After the initial consultation, the investigator will be given a general idea on the amount of time required for their project. Projects will be prioritized by deadline date, number of services requested and available funding for services. In general, requests will take from 2-3 months to complete.

Return to top



How long is the initial consultation?

The initial consultation can range from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the complexity of the request.

Return to top



What should I bring to the initial consultation?

To maximize the use of your consulting time, it is best to send the related information in advance if possible. Examples include:

  • Research protocol or a draft of the protocol
  • Brief description of the hypothesis if the protocol has not been developed
  • List of variables collected or plan to be collected
  • Any existing data
  • IRB approval letter
  • Sample of questionnaire
  • Other documents related to the project

 Return to top



How many face-to-face meetings will we have? 

This will vary depending on the complexity of your project and your question. Typically investigators do not need any additional face-to-face meetings after the initial consultation. Please keep in mind that face-to-face meetings can actually save time and can be the most effective way to communicate complex research designs or analytical methods.

Return to top



I need assistance with protocol development, what information should I provide?

We suggest providing the following information before your consultation:

  • Brief description of the hypothesis
  • Literature review of the topic
  • Publications on which you wish to build from (if applicable)
  • Draft of protocol

 Return to top



I need a power and sample size calculation, what information should I provide?

For different study designs, different prerequisites are needed for power and sample size calculations. For the most frequently used study designs, to achieve a certain level of power, our statisticians would want to know the following to compute a required sample size: your primary outcome variable and the type of variable (continuous, categorical), a clinically or biologically meaningful difference between means, proportions or incidence rates (effect size), and a variability estimate (standard deviation for continuous measures). The effect size and SD are usually found in previous published studies, from a literature search, a pilot study or an educated guesswork.

Return to top 



How should I prepare my data for analysis?

Data should be collected and recorded in ways that make them easier to use in statistical software packages. Appropriate file formats include either Excel or Access. It is recommended to list all variables of interest in a structured way (i.e. in columns and observations in rows into a data table or spreadsheet). Each column in the database should be appropriately defined, labeled and formatted based on the type of variable (i.e. whether it is quantitative or qualitative). Variable names should not contain any special characters with the exception of an underscore, if desired. Missing data can be recorded as either a blank space or a dot (.). Your data set should always be accompanied by a codebook containing at least the following information for each variable: variable name, description, unit of measure (if applicable), and format (e.g. character, numeric, date).  For example:


Variable Name


Unit of Measure



Subject age




Body mass index




Subject gender


Character (1=Male, 2=Female)


Subject race


Character (1=White, 2=Black, 3=Other)


  Return to top




How do I recognize the work RISE has done for my research?

It is important for the investigator(s) and RISE faculty/staff consultants to discuss co-authorship on scientific projects and agree on criteria early in their collaborative process. Authorship is generally expected where substantive input and effort on research design and/or statistical analysis are provided. As an example, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends authorship to be based on the following four criteria (www.icmje.org):

  • Substantial contribution to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Those who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet all four criteria should be acknowledged as contributors. Examples of contributor activities include: acquisition of funding; general supervision of a research group or general administrative support; and writing assistance, technical editing, language editing and proofreading.

Return to top



What statistical software does RISE use?

We use SAS, R or JMP for projects requiring the use of statistical software.

Return to top



Is there a charge for RISE services?

The initial consultation is free for each new project. Investigators may request a fee waiver for free services from RISE. However, if a fee waiver is not completed on the service request form‌, RISE will provide a cost estimate during the initial consultation and, where applicable, verify funding with the Principal Investigator of the study.

Return to top



Is there any data available through RISE?

Yes, currently the data available to investigators through RISE is the Virginia Health Information (VHI) patient-level discharge data. In order to gain access to this data, please fill out our VHI request form, review the terms and restrictions, and send the completed forms to RISE@evms.edu. RISE and the M. Foscue Brock Institute will review your request for approval. Once you have been granted approval, you must submit your project to the EVMS Institutional Review Board (IRB) as non-human subjects research.  Please do not submit your IRB application until you have received confirmation from us about the data items. We will provide you with your raw data once we have received the IRB approval letter.


Please review the  for more information about VHI and the variables included in the data.

Return to top


How do I request a REDCap account?

In order to use REDCap, please complete the online form to request a REDCap account. You will be notified with further instructions. 

Return to top



Does RISE offer research training?

Yes, RISE offers Research Boot Camps every year as well as links to training and research resources

Return to top


Who can I contact if I have further questions?

Please send any additional questions to RISE@evms.edu or call 757.446.8403 for service request inquiries and 757.446.7991 for all other inquiries.

Return to top