How to Get De-identified Data that Contains Real Dates & Zip Codes

De-identified data that includes real dates and zip codes, but no other identifiers is called a "Limited Dataset."  Why get this data?  

  • Any seasonal study (real dates) or geographic study (need zip codes) can be done with a "Limited Dataset" 
  • For example, studying the seasonal impact of the flu and location (rural versus urban environment).


  • Data Extraction Consultation
    • Get guidance from a UCSF expert who will help you define the data you need and clarify the data that is available.
    • After the initial free hour, recharge fees will apply.
    • UC Health data may be requested, but processing time can be lengthy.

Compliance requirements

IRB approval and Secure File Sharing Account (via RAE) required

Data Use Agreement may be required
Other regulatory requirements may apply; consultant will provide guidance.

Working with clinical data? Preparation is key.

Be ready with adequate computing capabilities and tools for:

Use the APeX Pick List  or the ZSFG Pick List (Large Excel files via UCSF Box) to identify variables for your research and to define your cohort.

  • Diagnoses
  • Meds
  • Labs
  • Procedures
  • Flowsheet
  • Departments
  • Smart Data Elements