Cohort Identification and Feasibility

Cohort Identification

After the hypothesis has been generated, and there is a trial design in mind, a researcher may also start thinking about whether or not their cohort or population of interest exists for their research. This is a key component in making sure that the study can be conducted.  Two helpful tools for this are:  

Slicer Dicer 

Slicer Dicer is a tool that can be accessed through PennChart which contains electronic medical record. Study inclusion and exclusion criteria can be selected through structured data and counts of eligible patients for a study will be provided by the tool.  After receiving IRB approval PHI from patients can be downloaded for recruitment. 

Data Analytics Center (DAC)

The Data Analytics Center can be contacted to generate a one time, or ongoing report, of potential patients that match trial criteria. They can access both EMR structured and unstructured data elements and data not housed in the EMR.  


Determining if you have the patient population to perform research is only one piece of feasibility. Additional considerations are, are there competing trials, does one have the time and resource to conduct the research, is there adequate funding for the research and appropriate space. ACRP has a tool that might be helpful for investigators when it comes to deterring feasibility.

This eLearning module is located in Workday Learning.  Please be sure to log in before clicking this link: Trial Feasibility and Selection: Their Impact on Accrual