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Leaf

ITM LUC Logo

Loyola University Chicago is part of the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM), which is funded through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Other ITM institutions include the University of Chicago, RUSH, Advocate Aurora Health, Illinois Institute of Technology, and NorthShore University HealthSystem. Leaf was created at the University of Washington’s Institute of Translational Health Sciences. More information about the background and creation of Leaf can be found in this JAMIA article. ITM institutions participating in the Leaf initiative include the University of Chicago, RUSH, and Loyola.

Leaf is a self-service web application which allows cohort discovery from clinical data from single or multiple institutions. Cohort discovery involves finding a patient population using different inclusion criteria, such as their age, medical conditions, and procedures they have undergone. This tool removes barriers between clinical data and end-users by making it easy to design and run queries that define these cohorts. The data are from de-identified Electronic Health Records, and the application provides counts and a basic demographic breakdown of the cohort. This information can be used as preparatory-to-research to see if there are enough patients that qualify for a study and to prepare an IRB protocol or grant proposal. The Leaf Data Model shows which variables are available.

Leaf Eligibility:

Leaf is available to all people at Loyola who are eligible to be on an IRB approved study. This means that users must have current Loyola CITI training and HIPAA information security training. Users do not need an approved IRB protocol to access Leaf.

To Access Leaf:

1. Leaf is behind the security firewall, so you will need to be on campus or using a VPN such as Loyola Secure Access (LSA) to access Leaf.

2. Go to this website: https://leaf.luc.edu

3. Log-in with your UVID and password.

Leaf Training Videos

Leaf Training Videos are available to help you get started, show examples of how to perform queries of different complexities, and troubleshoot your queries.

You can click on the following video links to open them in a new tab, or watch them in the playlist below:

Leaf FAQ

How to request Leaf data

Do you need more than aggregate counts? Here is what you need to know to request de-identified patient and encounter data from a Leaf query.

To Request Loyola Leaf data:

1. Make sure to save the query or note the criteria so the query can be re-created.

2. If you are not a full time Loyola faculty member, then collaborate with a full time Loyola faculty member from a relevant research domain who can be the Principal Investigator (PI) of the study.

3. The PI must submit an IRB proposal. All Leaf data requests require IRB approval. Instructions on how to submit a retrospective IRB protocol can be found on the IRB website. You can reference the Leaf Data Model to see which variables are available and include them in the protocol. 

4. Once you have IRB approval, you can request the Loyola data using the Clinical Data Request Form.

To Request Federated Leaf data:

To request federated data you will need to follow steps 1-3 above to request Loyola Leaf data. Additionally, you will need a PI and IRB approval at each participating Federated institution according to each institution's protocols. The Loyola PI will need to submit a Data Use Agreement (DUA) that can be executed with each of the insitution PIs. The Loyola PI can then do step 4 to submit the Clinical Data Request Form to get the Loyola data after the DUA is executed, and the institution PIs will need to request Leaf data from their ITM teams according to their institution protocols.

Please note, if you are from one of our partner ITM institutions you will need to follow the steps for requesting Federated data.

Leaf Data Model

What data are available in Leaf?

The ITM Leaf institutions use a PCORI-based data model that includes demographics, encounters, procedures, and diagnoses. Leaf data starts from 2016 and is updated semi-annually. You can see the full data model and variable list here: Leaf Data Model

How to I contact someone from the Loyola Leaf team?

If you would like to contact someone from the Leaf support team, please send a message to ITSInformatics@luc.edu and a team member will contact you.

When do I use the CRDB versus Leaf?

The Clinical Research Database (CRDB) is Loyola’s internal cohort discovery tool and has robust querying capabilities. The Leaf application has a more limited data model but is a powerful tool because it allows you to perform federated queries with other ITM institutions. Both tools provide basic demographics but in different formats. If you are looking for a Loyola-only cohort, then you may find the CRDB more useful. If you are looking for a multi-site cohort, then you will need to use Leaf.

How do I find a Loyola faculty member to ask to be the PI for my study?

If you need help finding a Principal Investigator (PI) at Loyola, please email the Leaf team at ITSInformatics@luc.edu with information about your project and we will facilitate connecting you to an appropriate faculty member.

How do I find a PI at a federated ITM institution?

I want to request Federated data, but I don't have any contacts at the Federated institutions.

If you need assistance with finding a Principal Investigator (PI) at a federated ITM institution then please see the ITM page to find the contact information for the institution’s Leaf team.

Last Modified:   Wed, November 1, 2023 2:41 PM CDT

ITM LUC Logo

Loyola University Chicago is part of the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM), which is funded through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Other ITM institutions include the University of Chicago, RUSH, Advocate Aurora Health, Illinois Institute of Technology, and NorthShore University HealthSystem. Leaf was created at the University of Washington’s Institute of Translational Health Sciences. More information about the background and creation of Leaf can be found in this JAMIA article. ITM institutions participating in the Leaf initiative include the University of Chicago, RUSH, and Loyola.

Leaf is a self-service web application which allows cohort discovery from clinical data from single or multiple institutions. Cohort discovery involves finding a patient population using different inclusion criteria, such as their age, medical conditions, and procedures they have undergone. This tool removes barriers between clinical data and end-users by making it easy to design and run queries that define these cohorts. The data are from de-identified Electronic Health Records, and the application provides counts and a basic demographic breakdown of the cohort. This information can be used as preparatory-to-research to see if there are enough patients that qualify for a study and to prepare an IRB protocol or grant proposal. The Leaf Data Model shows which variables are available.

Leaf Eligibility:

Leaf is available to all people at Loyola who are eligible to be on an IRB approved study. This means that users must have current Loyola CITI training and HIPAA information security training. Users do not need an approved IRB protocol to access Leaf.

To Access Leaf:

1. Leaf is behind the security firewall, so you will need to be on campus or using a VPN such as Loyola Secure Access (LSA) to access Leaf.

2. Go to this website: https://leaf.luc.edu

3. Log-in with your UVID and password.

Leaf Training Videos

Leaf Training Videos are available to help you get started, show examples of how to perform queries of different complexities, and troubleshoot your queries.

You can click on the following video links to open them in a new tab, or watch them in the playlist below:

Leaf FAQ