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Data Use

Our Data Network and What Is Available

Tennessee Population Health Data Network (TN-POPnet), our population health disease registry, holds the unique patient health information of more than two million patients. TN-POPnet’s primary purposes are meaningful use of electronic health records, and using the data from electronic health records to improve care for patients with chronic diseases or at risk of chronic disease. Therefore, we work with both providers participating in TN-POPnet and with researchers evaluating the impact of interventions and health outcomes, health services research projects, and pragmatic, real-world clinical trials.

TN-POPnet data can be employed for:  

  • Grant or project planning
  • Pilot and feasibility studies using de-identified or identified data
  • Health services research and clinical trials using de-identified data or identified data.

TN-POPnet data are contributed by TennCare, health systems, and primary care practices across Tennessee. Data include more than 60 variables in these categories: demographics, visit summary, health plan, diagnosis, procedures, labs, anthropometrics, and medications. View our list of variables.


Steps for requesting data+

  1. Investigators should review the Data Use Terms and Agreement (DUTA) document to ensure that they can comply with the terms and dictionary conditions outlined therein.
  2. Investigators should check the data to ensure that the variables required for the study are available in the data dictionary.
  3. Investigators should review Data Use Policies and Procedures listed in the DGB (Data Governance Board) to determine if the study requires DGB review. If the DGB review is needed, investigators must plan accordingly as this will require additional time. Final determination for DGB review will be made by the TN-POPnet Data Use Subcommittee.
  4. Investigators should submit an IRB application for their study with their institutional review board.
  5. Investigators should complete the Data Use Request form. Please be thorough when completing this form to avoid delays that may occur in requesting additional information.
  6. Investigators that require access to TennCare data, their application will need to be reviewed by TennCare; the Subcomittee will review the application once TennCare approval is received. In the event TennCare denies the approval the subcommittee will not be able to approve the use the of TennCare data for the study.
  7. The TN-POPnet Data Use Subcommittee will review all applications to determine if it can be approved or if needs to undergo further review by the DGB and/or TennCare.
  8. Once your application has been reviewed and approved, investigators will be required to sign a DUTA document and work with our data engineer to receive access to the requested data extract.
Data Use Request Form

Please fill out this form  and submit it to TN-POPnet for consideration of your request for data use.


Requirements if you are approved to use our data
  1. All data is stored and managed on secured UTHSC servers. Data will not be transferred to other entities without explicit IRB approval and approval of our Data Governance Board.
  2. Data are only available to Consortium members who are also UTHSC affiliated researchers or researchers with approved UTHSC friend appointments. For more information on acquiring this status, please email us at
  3. Researchers can request access to aggregate data prior to IRB approval only for study planning purposes.
  4. Researchers with IRB-approved research can request access to de-identified or identified data as approved by their IRB.
  5. The data request can include administrative claims data (i.e., TennCare and/or other insurers for claims data as available) if IRB approved.
  6. Staff will inform researchers if additional data approvals are required (e.g., from TennCare).
  7. Data will only be available for analysis on the UTHSC ITS-managed SAS server and the UT ACF-SIP server, unless additional approval has been obtained.
  8. The Data Engineer for the TN-POPnet will be included on all IRB applications using TN-POPnet data and must be notified if IRB approval is terminated. The Data Engineer will terminate access to data when IRB approval is terminated.


Jun 14, 2023