2018 OHDSI Face-to-Face

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Date(s) - 05/02/2018 - 05/03/2018
All Day

Columbia University Medical Center

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What happens when collaborators from across the OHDSI community come together?

We run a study!

Here’s what’s going to happen:

Over the next three months community members are invited to post clinical research questions on the OHDSI forum. Then, at the face-to-face, those in attendance will select one clinical question to focus on over the 2-days. The selected question will be based on community feedback and data availability.

Then, the real fun will start! Once aligned on a common problem, we will break out into groups to tackle the specific components required to design and implement the study:

  • Group #1 will focus on defining the target and comparator cohorts, ensuring that we have an adequate capture of the exposures of interest and proper application of whatever inclusion criteria are necessary to define the appropriate study population.
  • Group #2 will create and validate an outcome cohort definition.
  • Group #3 will produce a list of negative control outcomes that will be used for empirical calibration.
  • Group #4 will make the analytic design choices and prepare an R package that implements the study using the CohortMethod package.

These activities will all be pulled together into an open community protocol and that initial draft will need to be completed on day one. Once the draft protocol is finished, everyone will have free time to explore New York and network on their own.

On day two, we will get the study package running across the OHDSI network. Data holders (with a CDMv5) will be able to kick off the study in the morning with the aim of having results to share with the community in the afternoon. While the study is running, we will hold a community brainstorm to discuss what we as a community can do to improve the validity and efficiency of observational research. From there, we will review the study diagnostics from all the participating data partners, and with any luck, have a final protocol and study results to share with the world!

Who Should Attend

Not sure if you should attend? If one of the following statements applies to you, we’d encourage you to register:

  • You are passionate about the clinical questions that are to be studied, and can contribute to the clinical understanding of the problem and the synthesis of the evidence we generate with what is already known.
  • You want to contribute to the epidemiological design of a clinical study, and see yourself leading the definition of exposure/outcome cohorts based on your clinical understanding and knowledge of observational databases.
  • You want to apply your statistical expertise to the design of a population-level effect estimation study, and plan to contribute to the implementation of a R package that parameterizes the CohortMethod and associated OHDSI tools into an end-to-end study.
  • You have observational data in the OMOP Common Data Model v5 format, and want to execute a network study against your data and share aggregate summary results with the community to advance our collective evidence about the question of interest.



Time Description
8:00 – 9:00am Registration
9:00 – 10:00am Overview of Research Question: To determine the comparative risk developing malignancy in patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis treated with tofacitinib and tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi)
10:00 – 1:00pm Breakout sessions

  1. Target-comparator group: Creates the cohort definitions for T and C in ATLAS. The first part of this exercise is creating the high-level definitions, in the second part this group further breaks up to create specific concept sets identified in the high-level definitions
  2. Outcome group: Creates the cohort definition for O in ATLAS.  The group will also evaluate the performance of the outcome definition
  3. Negative controls: Use the OHDSI knowledge base to generate a list of candidate negative controls, then provide clinical adjudication to evaluate each negative control
  4. Model specification: Use ATLAS and the CohortMethod package to makes all study decisions, such as time-at-risk, outcome model, sensitivity analyses, etc
  5. *Coffee will be available during this time

1:00 – 2:00pm Group working lunch, with progress update from breakouts
2:00 – 4:30pm Continue in breakout groups
4:30 – 5:30pm Reconvene: Each group will present their work from the day
5:30pm Onward Complete unfinished work, dinner on your own


Time Description
8:00 – 9:30am Data holders to start running the study package on their data to generate the study diagnostics.
9:00 – 10:30am Review study diagnostics from initial databases presented while code is run on other datasets
11:00 – 12:30pm Group Brainstorm: Given the current study process, how can we improve research and facilitate more network research studies?
12:30 – 1:30pm Lunch
1:30 – 3:00pm Review diagnostics results from all participating data partners
3:00 – 3:30pm Break
3:30 – 4:30pm Review results and discuss next steps for evidence generation and dissemination for this community study
4:30 – 5:30pm Group Brainstorm: What else should OHDSI do together to advance our shared mission?


The 2018 F2F will take place at the Department of Biomedical Informatics located at:

Department of Biomedical Informatics
Columbia University Medical Center
622 W. 168th Street, Presbyterian Building 20th Floor
New York, NY 10032

Travel directions to the the department are available here:

Directions Directions

Nearby Hotels

Aloft Harlem
2296 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10027

Edge Hotel
514 W 168th St, New York, NY 10032

The Excelsior Hotel
45 West 81ST Street, New York, NY 10024

Hotel Beacon
2130 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Hotel Belleclaire
250 W 77th St, New York, NY 10024

Hotel Newton
2528 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

Hudson Hotel
358 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan/Central Park
1717 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

NYLO New York City
2178 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

The Empire Hotel
44 W 63rd St, New York, NY 10023

The Lucerne Hotel
201 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024



Selected participants will be notified on March 23rd.

This is a working meeting. All in attendance are expected to participate in discussions and contribute their knowledge and skills to each session they attend.