Due to resource limitations, research data requests may take several weeks to be processed.
Due to state laws governing the protection of confidential health information, RHINO data is not available to the general public. If you would like to inquire about RHINO data, please email RHINO@doh.wa.gov.
How to Request RHINO Data or Support
If you are in need of support from the Rapid Health Information Network (RHINO) program or would like to request data from RHINO, please review the following workflow on how to submit your request.
We strongly recommend contacting us at RHINO@doh.wa.gov to discuss your data request before submission. Due to resource limitations, research data requests may take several weeks to be processed.
Cost of RHINO Data
Data for research or private use is subject to a fee schedule which has not yet been finalized. Requests of this nature will be handled on a case by case basis.
Allowable Uses of RHINO Data
Please consult the full text of your agency's Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) with the RHINO Program for a full description of the allowances and restrictions on data use and release. You must adhere to the DOH Small Numbers Guidelines (PDF) attached to your DSA when presenting or releasing your data to the public. PDF version of RHINO Data Use table below
RHINO Data Use
- Conduct public health practice including surveillance and assessment?
RHINO data is intended for use in conducting public health practice according to the terms of your DSA.
- Publish in scientific literature; present at conferences?
You may present or publish the data, adhering to all terms of your DSA, after receiving approval from the RHINO program. Data appearing in publication must be attributed to WA DOH.
- Redisclose data to public health or healthcare practitioners?
You may redisclose data to public health or healthcare professionals within the confines of an authorized public health action or investigation, according to the terms of your DSA.
- Attempt to reidentify an individual?
You may not attempt to reidentify an individual except within the confines of an autorized public health investigation, according to the terms of your DSA.
- Conduct research?
Data may only be used for research when WSIRB approval or exemption has been obtained and data use for research has been specifically approved by the RHINO program.
“Research” as defined by DSHS:
"Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Activities which meet this definition constitute research whether or not they are conducted or supported under a program which is considered research for other purposes. For example, some demonstration and services programs may include research activities."
- Link with other datasets?
RHINO data may be linked with other datasets. Linked datasets are subject to all terms conditions of agreements, law, and rule governing RHINO data and all linked datasets.
- Look up patients in a facility's Electronic Health Record (EHR)?
Access to a facility's EHR, if any, is governed by agreements with the facility. Data users should build relationships with facilities to support effective public health investigation and action.
- Regulatory or law enforcement activities?
Except as required by law, RHINO data are not intended to be used for regulatory or law enforcement activities.
- Disclose to the public?
RHINO data are exempt from public disclosure. Aggregate data which contains no direct or indirect identifiers or small numbers according to the terms of your DSA may be released publicly.
- Commercial (for-profit) activities?
RHINO data are not intended for commercial or for-profit use and may not be used for such activities.
To expedite the data request process, the RHINO program has developed a standardized limited dataset that serves the needs of most applied public health researchers. The data elements included in this dataset are listed in the table below. Requesting this limited dataset rather than a customized dataset is strongly encouraged.
|Data Element Name||Description / Notes|
Patient age in years
|Sex||Female, Male, Other, Unknown|
|Patient or Facility County||County of the patient residence or of the facility they were treated at|
|Patient or Facility Zip||Zip code of the patient residence or of the facility they were treated at|
|Patient State||Patient's state of residence|
|Patient Class||Patient class|
|Visit ID||Uniquely identifies the patient visit among all visits at the facility/organization|
|Admit Date/Time||Date/Time of patient's encounter with healthcare facility|
|Chief Complaint(s)||Patient's reason for visit|
|Diagnosis code(s)||Coded value for Diagnosis Code of patient|
|Disposition||Patient's anticipated location or status following discharge|
|Procedure code(s)||Procedure(s) during the patient visit|
Publishing Using RHINO Data
If you would like to include RHINO data in a publication or other medium that is shared publicly, you must first submit the document(s) to RHINO for review to ensure adherence to small numbers guidelines and requirements of the DSA. Submit your request for RHINO review. If your publication is approved, you must credit the Washington State Department of Health as the source of the data.
For more information on publishing RHINO data, please refer page 7 of the Working With RHINO Handbook (PDF).