Course 3 System and Database Access
Healthcare Data Mining requires that you have computer access to certain VA systems and databases. It is imperative that you start this process early so that you are guaranteed that software and access is available by the start of the course.
Click the following link to view a flowchart of the needed system and database systems you need access to and how to test: HACP Course 3 Database Access Check .
STEP 1 in the flowchart
Although all VA employees have access to the VSSC reports and databases some of the databases needed for Course 3 contain Protected Health Information (PHI). These databases require an approval process that may take a few weeks to complete. All students should check their access to PHI at the VSSC as soon as possible. If after clicking the link your access is blank or other than PHI or SSN access (see example 1 below) you need to request access to PHI data at the VSSC following the directions in Instruction Set A:
Instruction Set A: Request VSSC Access
- Download this file: VSSC request form (VA form 9957)
Note: key information is already pre-filled out in this form such as "Type of Access à NSSD, PHI level access to VSSC web data and PHI level access to DSS web data".
b. In Section 2 (Customer information), enter your information in Box A, D, F, J, and K.
c. In Section 4 (Signatures), for Box A, type your name and title. Include your signature. Date your signature in Box B. For Box C, enter in your supervisor’s name and title. They are to sign. The date of their signature goes in Box D. You are strongly encouraged to USE EMAIL AS A WAY TO ROUTE FOR SIGNATURE. If needed, attached is a routing and transmittal form explaining why you need access.
d. Submit the VSSC request form to your facility’s designated CUPS/National Data Systems Point of Contact (POC). Your local CUPS POC can make a new or edit an existing entry in the NSSD. They also need to sign the form in Box G. Click here to find your local CUPS/National Data Systems POCs. You need to be behind the VA firewall to access the link. You are strongly encouraged to USE EMAIL AS A WAY TO ROUTE FOR SIGNATURE.
e. The request process needs to start early with frequent follow-up to make sure it is done. Electronic signatures are strongly suggested to facilitate the provisioning process.
f. Any questions regarding access to VSSC/DSS web products can be submitted here: https://help.vssc.med.va.gov/ (select the Data Access Program area). You need to be behind the VA firewall to access the link.
g. You can verify your access by clicking the link at the beginning of Step 1 or by clicking on this Test File
h. Contact your CUPS POC if you do not have access within a week or two
Step 2 in the flowchart: This can be done simultaneously with Step 1
All VA employees who have accessed VSSC data in the last two years have automatically been enrolled in Pyramid Analytics. Check your access to Pyramid Analytics by opening this report.
If the report opens you have access to Pyramid Analytics. The Pyramid report has videos and links to help you get started using the product.
Instruction Set B: If the report does not open you can self-enroll in Pyramid by clicking the enroll button.
STEP 3 in the flowchart: This can be done simultaneously with steps 1 and 2
Apply for access to ARC
Instruction Set C: Request ARC Access
a. Download and print the Request Form.
b. Complete all blanks on the form and manually sign the "COMPUTER ACCESS AGREEMENT".
c. Have the form signed BY THE DIRECTOR (no designees). You are strongly encouraged to USE EMAIL AS A WAY TO ROUTE FOR SIGNATURES. If needed, attached is a routing and transmittal form explaining why you need access.
d. The request process needs to start early with frequent follow-up to make sure it is done. Electronic signatures are strongly suggested to facilitate the provisioning process.
e. Fax the completed form to the ARC ISO at 781-849-0306.
f. For assistance Contact the ARC Customer Service Help Desk.
g. You can test and/or verify access by opening the ARC test file.
Instruction Set D: If you are going to be completing this course at home you will need access to Rescue VPN on a Government Furnished Computer (GFE) or the CAG (Citrix Access Gateway) on your own computer. You can apply for access on the Remote Access Self-Service Portal. If you need further help contact your local IT department or ISO.