If you are interested in collaborating with PRC on a research project, please submit an inquiry through our online services form.

Pharmaceutical Research Computing provides a wide range of analytical services in computer programming, data management, statistics, and epidemiology to support health services researchers.

PRC team members are committed to providing quality service based on a customer's identified need.

PRC provides free estimates. Complete this form if you would like to receive an estimate for services. Completing this form provides the needed detail to assure that PRC team members can provide a reasonable estimate for the desired services. If you have questions about the form or would like to speak with one of our staff members, please contact PRC using the contact information provided on this page.

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Please attach the abstract, proposal, or other supporting documents to further clarify your identified need.

Services Requested

The following descriptions are intended to provide customers with clarity and understanding of the potential services available by the PRC. Services are not limited to the enclosed list and may serve only as point of reference.

As a component of all PRC services charges; at the completion of any project, PRC is able to archive the data and any notes that document any processes needed to clean, update, or merge data files. A copy of the archived files can be made available to the principal investigator.

Please check all services that apply. To see more detail on a service, choose the Show Details button next to its heading.

Project Preparation

Obtain data from outside source (e.g. CMS, DHMH, UMBC, or other).

Investigating and Maintaining Data

Explore data integrity through exploring data quality: completeness and accuracy. Prepare standard output frequencies and crosstabs of related variables.

The use of formats and labels enables PRC staff to identify data values easily and correctly, and improve the readability of results. The use of SAS dates is preferable to character dates for computation purposes and for display flexibility.

Utilizing data frequencies and cross-tabulations, PRC will investigate the integrity of the data. A method to resolve problematic data will be recommended to the customer prior to analysis and resolution reached for moving forward before beginning analysis.

For datasets that are delivered to PRC on a scheduled basis, update algorithms must be developed. An update process may involve the simple addition of records to an existing dataset, or it may require the merger of additional datasets. If the update process is not provided by the data source, additional time will be required to determine the correct method and its validation.

Creating and Validating Analysis Files

The PRC staff will be able to provide investigators with valuable information on therapeutic and pharmacologic issues as well as advise them on the suitability of drug classifications and sub-classifications in the performance of specific analyses.

When the analyses involve drugs, diagnostic codes, and/or procedure codes, detail definitions of the grouping of these codes as well as other data items to be analyzed should be provided by the investigators. If this information is not available from the investigators, PRC staff can work with the investigators to come up with the appropriate coding and groupings. This information is essential in performing the analyses required to answer the principal investigator's question/hypothesis. In addition, PRC staff can advise the investigator as to the suitability, feasibility, availability and validity of the variables to be used in the analyses.

Task and variable lists serve as a documentation that allow for study or analysis duplication at a later date. Failure to document this process can only lead to further analyses leading to additional costs and delays in the analysis of the study.

  • In order to thoroughly document the analytical plan, a detailed task list will be generated for the programming staff. A task list provides logical step-by-step process that influences accuracy and reliability of the analyses.
  • A variable list is developed to include all the variables and their definitions for each analysis file.

PRC will merge and manipulate raw data into a research ready file. This file can be a SAS dataset or text file for use with other software packages.

When the analysis file is created, PRC staff will insure its validity by double-checking it with an independent view of the raw data. While every safeguard described above should protect from any erroneous data from being analyzed, validation by a PRC staff who knows basic factors regarding the data is critical.

Statistical Analysis

The PRC analytical tool of choice is SAS. In the instance that PRC team members are unable to develop a model to meet the need of the researcher, doctoral level services will be contracted. Consultation fees would "pass-through" directly to the contracting agency.

Summary data analysis producing a combination of outputs: tabulated description, graphical description or statistical commentary.

PRC statisticians can determine methods of statistical analysis and apply techniques to determine means of measurement, including randomized, quasi-experimental and non-randomized designs.

PRC statisticians can perform multi-level analyses to capture variability in the data. This includes using propensity scores and instrumental variables.

Data Visualization, Design, and Infographics

Convey your data and results through visualization and layout.

Logistics Support for Community-Based Participatory Research

A qualitative evaluation method used with a specific target group setting of 6-10 individuals, allowing participants to talk freely, to collect descriptive data on knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Sessions are typically recorded, notes transcribed and themes extracted to create outputs.

A qualitative evaluation method used with participants in a specific target population through one-on-one interviews. Descriptive data on knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are collected and outputs created.

A research and evaluation method used to following PI's investigative inquiry to design, implement and collect descriptive data on knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

Formative evaluation method used to identify themes in key determinant areas such as: perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived social acceptability, perceived self-efficacy, cues for action, perception of divine will, positive and negative attributes of the action, etc. to establish facilitators (e.g. things that make progress easier) and barriers (e.g. things that obstruct or impede progress).

Project Management

In order to assure timely completion of all deliverables, PRC staff will collaborate with research team members in setting and securing reasonable milestones and deliverables. PRC staff will be responsible to ensure that deadlines are met. Additionally, PRC staff are able to draft conceptual scope of work.

PRC staff will maintain contact with investigators throughout the life of the project through status reports, emails, or other agreed upon means of correspondence. Deadlines that are at risk of being missed will be discussed with the investigator and a course of action to mitigate ongoing episodes determined.

PRC staff can operate in a "task-given-task-completed" mode where he/she performs the task with the data provided and relies totally on the task documentation. However, to fully understand the project and anticipate investigator's needs, it is strongly recommended that PRC staff attend project meetings when they pertain to analysis planning.