Online Program

Creating a Community Outcomes Database and Research Bank, a Mutually Beneficial Partnership

Monday, November 2, 2015

Rebecca Bernstein, MD, MS, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
John Keegan, BS, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Kristen Vareka, LPC, CSAC, Guest House Counseling Clinic, Guest House of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI

Community organizations must track and report data on a large number of outcomes. Infrastructure and technology to efficiently capture this data may not be accessible. Academicians also pursue data collection to answer a variety of research questions, increasingly in community-based settings. It is difficult to collect longitudinal research data in some populations, including the homeless. These overlapping needs were identified within an existing community-academic partnership between a counseling clinic for homeless men and an academic medical center.


Through an iterative process, we examined the community clinic’s reporting requirements, desired variables to capture for both partners, and available tools to measure outcomes. These data elements were incorporated into a robust secure web-based data management tool, REDCap, which will be permanently available to either partner. Community clinicians were trained to use the tool to collect data at the point of service; voluntary participation in research banking of data was offered to all clients.


Since July 2014, outcomes data has been tracked for 42 unique clients, 24 (57%) of whom have consented for research banking. The community clinic has experienced significant improvements in ease of data collection and tracking for quality improvement and reporting. Preliminary data analysis is underway for the first research project conducted using the banked data.


The development of a dual outcomes database/research bank is a mutually beneficial community-academic partnership. It leverages academic access to data management infrastructure and outcomes assessment tools and community capacity and need to track and manage outcomes.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
Compare the data management needs of community organizations and public health researchers. Describe the benefits and challenges of community-academic partnership for program outcomes tracking and research.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principle investigator on several studies involving the homeless population and have participated in several related community-academic partnerships. I serve as a faculty mentor and Associate Director of the Urban Community Health Pathway at the Medical College of Wisconsin, through which the partnership for this project was developed.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.