NEWS | August 6, 2012

UC Davis Health System's Research Volunteer Registry receives 2012 Sautter Golden Award


UC Davis Health System's Research Volunteer Registry project received the 2012 Larry L. Sautter Golden Award for Innovation in Information Technology. The project is one of nine -- and the only one from UC Davis -- to receive a Sautter Award, and it is one of only three to be recognized with a Golden Award within the entire University of California system.

The new Research Volunteer Registry enables parents like Larissa Stuart to easily manage personal health information and specific research study preferences at the UC Davis MIND Institute for her daughter, Cooper. The new Research Volunteer Registry enables parents like Larissa Stuart to easily manage personal health information and specific research study preferences at the UC Davis MIND Institute for her daughter, Cooper.

The UC Information Technology Leadership Council presented the awards to University of California teams today at the UC Computing Services Conference held at UC Berkeley.

The awards recognize easy-to-use information technology tools that improve operations and efficiency at campuses. They also recognize innovation that supports the university's teaching, research and public service missions, and encourage faculty and staff to share creative solutions across the system.

"These are just a few examples of the great work that is being done on our campuses," said David J. Ernst, Chief Information Officer for the UC system and a member of the selection committee. "A number of these tools will be of interest throughout higher education. It shows how technology coupled with thinking 'outside the box' can improve operations and service across the UC system and beyond."

The Research Volunteer Registry is an application that streamlines the processes that enable community members interested in volunteering for research studies to connect with faculty and staff conducting leading-edge research. Daniel Cotton, IT educational technology and application development manager, and Kent Anderson, IT research manager, co-led the project, in collaboration with UC Davis MIND Institute leadership and staff and the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center.

"Partnering with experts throughout the health system enabled us to develop this powerful new tool, which connects our investigators with the community, and fosters translational research across disciplines," said UC Davis Health System's Chief Information Officer Michael Minear.  "The Research Volunteer Registry collects and manages detailed information about research volunteers in a central secure database, eliminating the need for multiple registries or filing systems in different departments. This secure system reduces the risk of a breach of information or loss of sensitive data, and shields volunteers' personal details until they explicitly agree to participate in a study. Volunteers can update their information, thereby keeping the roster current, and research staff can easily search the database for appropriate people for their projects."

The application has two user interfaces and authentication/authorization mechanisms. One allows volunteers to directly and easily input and manage their own information, including demographic data and study preferences. The second for research study coordinators and faculty enables them to navigate and select cohorts for follow up. The innovative program ensures the privacy of volunteer data by "blinding" investigators to personally identifiable information about potential participants until explicit consent is obtained.

Research Volunteer Registry © UC Regents
The Registry Volunteer registry connects the community with UC Davis researchers.

A third module links the registry with the Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) software system used by UC Davis Health System faculty and staff. Developed at Vanderbilt University, REDCap has become the standard to support research project data collection. The system allows users to build and manage online surveys and databases quickly and securely, and is currently in production use or development build-status for more than 42,590 projects with over 56,890 users throughout the world, Minear said. 

The Research Volunteer Registry can be used by any faculty member for research conducted throughout the health system. Still in its early stages of use, it contains more than 1,200 active volunteer accounts and more than 1,500 volunteer research profiles. The Volunteer Registry Search module contains more than 250 accounts with studies, and more than 6,700 pilot users. More information about the Research Volunteer Registry is available online at 
The annual Larry L. Sautter award program was established in 2000. It is named after Larry L. Sautter, a UC Riverside associate vice chancellor for Computing and Communications who died in 1999. Under his leadership, a modern data network, client server computing and improved technical support services were developed and implemented at Riverside. More information about the 2012 winners, including the applications for each project, is available at the Sautter Award Program website.

UC Davis Health System is improving lives and transforming health care by providing excellent patient care, conducting groundbreaking research, fostering innovative, interprofessional education, and creating dynamic, productive partnerships with the community. The academic health system includes one of the country's best medical schools, a 619-bed acute-care teaching hospital, a 1000-member physician's practice group and the new Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. It is home to a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, an international neurodevelopmental institute, a stem cell institute and a comprehensive children's hospital. Other nationally prominent centers focus on advancing telemedicine, improving vascular care, eliminating health disparities and translating research findings into new treatments for patients. Together, they make UC Davis a hub of innovation that is transforming health for all. For more information, visit