Virtualization of open-source secure web services to support data exchange in a pediatric critical care research network

Lewis J. Frey*, Katherine A. Sward, Christopher J L Newth, Robinder G. Khemani, Martin E. Cryer, Julie L. Thelen, Rene Enriquez, Su Shaoyu, Murray M. Pollack, Rick E. Harrison, Kathleen L. Meert, Robert A. Berg, David L. Wessel, Thomas P. Shanley, Heidi Dalton, Joseph Carcillo, Tammara L. Jenkins, J. Michael Dean

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives To examine the feasibility of deploying a virtual web service for sharing data within a research network, and to evaluate the impact on data consistency and quality. Material and Methods Virtual machines (VMs) encapsulated an open-source, semantically and syntactically interoperable secure web service infrastructure along with a shadow database. The VMs were deployed to 8 Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network Clinical Centers. Results Virtual web services could be deployed in hours. The interoperability of the web services reduced format misalignment from 56% to 1% and demonstrated that 99% of the data consistently transferred using the data dictionary and 1% needed human curation. Conclusions Use of virtualized open-source secure web service technology could enable direct electronic abstraction of data from hospital databases for research purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1271-1276
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Data governance
  • Electronic health record
  • Grid
  • Learning health care system
  • Pediatric critical care
  • Pediatric network
  • Secure web services
  • Virtual machines
  • Virtualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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