Implementing partnership-driven clinical federated electronic health record data sharing networks

Kari A. Stephens, Nicholas Anderson, Ching Ping Lin, Hossein Estiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: Building federated data sharing architectures requires supporting a range of data owners, effective and validated semantic alignment between data resources, and consistent focus on end-users. Establishing these resources requires development methodologies that support internal validation of data extraction and translation processes, sustaining meaningful partnerships, and delivering clear and measurable system utility. We describe findings from two federated data sharing case examples that detail critical factors, shared outcomes, and production environment results. Methods: Two federated data sharing pilot architectures developed to support network-based research associated with the University of Washington's Institute of Translational Health Sciences provided the basis for the findings. A spiral model for implementation and evaluation was used to structure iterations of development and support knowledge share between the two network development teams, which cross collaborated to support and manage common stages. Results: We found that using a spiral model of software development and multiple cycles of iteration was effective in achieving early network design goals. Both networks required time and resource intensive efforts to establish a trusted environment to create the data sharing architectures. Both networks were challenged by the need for adaptive use cases to define and test utility. Conclusion: An iterative cyclical model of development provided a process for developing trust with data partners and refining the design, and supported measureable success in the development of new federated data sharing architectures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Data sharing
  • Electronic health records
  • Federated networks
  • Implementation
  • Information systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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