Cohort identification, proteomics, pharmacogenomics, and global health surveillance all benefit from electronic health records (EHR). It is critical to enable rapid and independent EHR data examination by end users such as biomedical researchers in order to achieve the promise of EHR data for advancing clinical research. This study examines current techniques as well as critical methodological considerations. By expanding on channels for additionally called in the context of aiding end users’ interrogation of EHR data, we extended a previously released theoretical foundation for interactive information retrieval, which identifies three entities: user, channel, and source. The information science literature, on the other hand, has provided detailed theories and methodologies for user modelling and question formulation support. The two bodies of literature are complimentary, meaning that cross-disciplinary idea interchange is possible. On this foundation, we identify future informatics research directions to better our understanding of customer needs and requirements for supporting biomedical researchers’ independent interrogation of EHR data. We believe that cross-disciplinary research community between bioinformatics and information systems can help our research in the life sciences by providing efficient data access.