The Healthcare Enterprise Repository for Ontological Narration (HERON) is a method to integrate clinical and biomedical data for translational research.

  • HERON cohort discovery queries can span the EMR from KUH and an increasing list of other sources for retrospective studies.
  • HERON queries can give you hard data on how many patients come through KUH that meet the criteria of your next clinical trial.
  • Combined with the Frontiers participant registry, HERON can even give you contact information to support recruitment directly.

To get started, see HERON Training Materials.

Or if you're a returning HERON user, proceed directly to:

Citing HERON

Please cite us as:

Progress, History, and Plans

... see HERONAnnouncements for the full list.

The roadmap is our main concrete planning tool, but we also use HeronProjectTimeline for brainstorming.

Training and Support


  • Ask the Clinical Informatics Coordinator for help via the feedback form or at 5-7470.

Data Sources and Monthly Update Process

Our initial approach is to get dumps from the source systems, wipe out our store in nightHERON for i2b2 and reload it all, reassigning i2b2 internal patient, provider, visit ids.


New architecture diagram as per meeting 2014.09.10, #2894

Bring-up and some configuration notes on the machines are in:

  • #80 - bring up identified server hardware, os
  • #82 - bring up de-identified database server
  • #43 - bring up virtual server for production web services

See also:

Open Source ETL Code

The heron_load open source codebase consists of ~20KLOC of SQL along with a set of python scripts that control the HeronLoad ETL process. Share and enjoy!

Our presentation materials may help with the bigger picture; in particular:

Terminology Mapping

Leveraging NIH funded i2b2 framework

Per section C.2.2. Implement cost effective, researcher-centric solutions while preserving patient privacy and respecting community trust among disparate participating organizations by leveraging open source and existing NIH funded initiatives of the CTSA grant application:

User access, activity logs, and project management for the de-identified repository is managed via the i2b2 framework ...

This involves Using I2B2. We've had a further discussion on overall security for i2b2, other applications, oracle and the operating systems: HERONsecuritynotes?.

Governance (DROC), Privacy (De-identification), and Security

Governance is provided by an executive committee and the Data Request Oversight Committee (DROC). All three contributing organizations: the University of Kansas Medical Center, the University of Kansas Hospital and the University of Kansas Physicans Incorporated are represented and contribute to making this initiative possible.

The main usage scenarios for milestone:system-access was PatientCountStory, which demonstrates Data Request Oversight Mechanisms and Frequency of Review.

See section C2.1. Develop repeatable business agreements, policies, data use agreements and oversight for organization inclusion in KUMC HICTR CTSA outline for more scenarios. For reference:

Another design consideration is de-identification of data and then what's kept on blue HERON. See DeIdentificationStrategy.


This work was supported by a CTSA grant from NCRR and NCATS awarded to the University of Kansas Medical Center for Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research # UL1TR000001 (formerly #UL1RR033179). The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH, NCRR, or NCATS.

Last modified 10 months ago Last modified on 01/28/15 15:53:21

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