Non-Fairview Employed Research Staff (NERS)

In compliance with The Joint Commission's requirements and Fairview policies, non-Fairview employed research staff (NERS) must complete the NERS application process to obtain approval for conducting research tasks in Fairview facilities and systems, unless otherwise noted as exempt from this policy. In addition, NERS applicants who have completed the approval process are required to complete the NERS renewal application process annually for continued access to Fairview's patient care areas and electronic systems.

In the NERS application process you may be subject to the following requirements to ensure compliance with Fairview policies:

  • Complete online learning modules (LMS for Researchers)
  • Provide completion certificates for CITI training (Good Clinical Practice, Human Subjects Protection)
  • DHS/VCI background checks
  • Online Epic training
  • Epic Research Associates Classroom training
  • Compliant immunization documentation

Initial NERS Application

How do I start the NERS Application Process?

Submit the following documentation to Research@Fairview.org:

Fairview Research Administration will review your application and supporting documents. Based on Fairview policy, we will determine the next steps required for you to gain NERS approval to perform your research tasks in Fairview locations and/or in Fairview Electronic Health Records (Epic).

You will receive an email response from Fairview Research Administration within 5-7 business days of receiving your application. This response will include the next steps in completing the NERS application process.  If you don’t receive a response within 5-7 business days, please send an email to Research@fairview.org.

NERS Renewal Application

NERS approval must be renewed annually. It is your responsibility to address any changes in your research role at this time. As a reminder, approval only authorizes you to be in the Fairview systems and departments you note on your application. This includes being limited to the patient care tasks you selected on the application.

FRA will send reminder emails around 30 days and 15 days before your approval expiration date, but it is your responsibility to meet all renewal requirements by your NERS expiration date. If your approval does lapse, you will be inactivated in all Fairview applications. Fairview Security will be informed to inactivate your badge on that day.

How do I Renew my NERS approval?

Submit the following documentation to Research@fairview.org:

Complete additional NERS Renewal requirements:

  • Annual assigned required learning (LMS for Researchers)
  • Verify NERS immunization record compliance with UOHS (only required for NERS who have a physical presence in Fairview locations and/or with Fairview Patients)

Fairview Research Administration will respond with your NERS renewal approval status within 5-7 business days of receiving your NERS renewal application. If you don’t receive a response, please send an email to Research@fairview.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of NERS?

In Fairview, the only personnel that are able to care for or interact with patients are those that are either employed by Fairview, or are credentialed providers for Fairview. Since Fairview and the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center (AHC) are collaborators, there are University of Minnesota employees who are required to perform research tasks in Fairview locations and/or Fairview’s electronic systems. Fairview only credentials advanced practitioners, so there was no process for University of Minnesota employees to access Fairview resources or patients legitimately.

In 2006, Fairview Research Administration (FRA) developed the Non-Fairview Employed Research Staff application process. Through the NERS application process, researchers can be approved by Fairview Research Administration (FRA) to access Fairview resources. As part of the policy, FRA will confirm that the researchers have accomplished the hiring and training requirements similar to Fairview employees or credentialed staff.

What should I do if I change jobs or my job responsibilities change?

If your research role changes, you must submit a new Initial NERS application detailing all the changes, be sure to correct department information and supervisor contact information. When you receive NERS approval, you are only approved to do research perform the research tasks in the areas that you provide on your application. It is not a blanket approval.

I’m only reviewing medical records for research, and I already have access to Fairview medical record systems from my department. Do I need to go through NERS?

If your employment is solely for research purposes, and you are not a credentialed Fairview provider, the NERS process is the only way for you to access Fairview resources legitimately. If you have access, but do not know how you got it, you should contact FRA immediately.

If you continue to access the medical record without NERS approval, you are placing yourself at risk. Both Fairview and the AHC are very serious about enforcing privacy policies, and if you are not known as a legitimate user of the medical record you may be subject to disciplinary action.

What occupational health requirements apply?

Your occupational health requirements are determined by your employer. FRA will confirm your employer's occupational health policies align with Fairview's before you may access Fairview patients.

If you are employed by or working on behalf of the University of Minnesota, FRA will notify UMN Office of Occupational Health and Safety (UOHS) when you submit a NERS application. You are responsible for sending them the required documentation. If you have questions, please contact UOHS at uohs@umn.edu or 612-626-5008.

How long does NERS approval last?

NERS approval is effective for one year after the date you were approved (stated on your approval letter). FRA will send you an email reminder 30 days and 15 days before your approval expires. If we do not receive your renewal application by the day your approval lapses, your status will be inactivated. You will need to submit a new application to receive further approval.

Contact Information for Questions or Concerns:

E-mail Research@fairview.org

Phone: 612-672-7690 or 612-672-7647

NERS Requirement Information

All required documentation and action items to be completed as part of your NERS application are determined based on Fairview policy. FRA can add or remove any additional requirements at any time during the NERS application process.

For researchers who will solely review Fairview’s electronic health record for research purposes, the following requirements will need to be completed for NERS approval:

For researchers who will be present in Fairview locations and/or interact with Fairview patients for research purposes, the following requirements will need to be completed for NERS approval:

  • Complete Initial NERS application
  • Completion certification for CITI training
  • Copy of your current CV/Resume
  • Fairview required learning
  • DHS Background Check
  • VCI Background Check
  • Compliant immunization records

For researchers who will review Fairview’s electronic health record AND interact with Fairview patients for research purposes, the following requirements will need to be completed for NERS approval:

  • Complete Initial NERS application
  • Completion certification for CITI training
  • Copy of your current CV/Resume
  • Fairview required learning
  • DHS Background Check
  • VCI Background Check
  • Compliant immunization records
  • Attend Epic for Research Associates classroom training