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Acad Radiol. 2007 Jun;14(6):757-64.

A web-based interface for communication of data between the clinical and research environments without revealing identifying information.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200, USA. bland@umich.edu

Abstract

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:

Recent health care policies and regulations have affected the manner in which patient data--especially protected health information (PHI)--are handled in both the clinical and research settings. Specifically, it is now more challenging to obtain de-identified PHI from the clinic for use in research while adhering to the requirements of this new environment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

To meet this challenge, we have devised a novel web-based interface that facilitates the communication of data (eg, biopsy results) between the clinic and research environments without revealing PHI to the research team or associated research identifiers to the clinical collaborators. At the heart of the scheme is a web application that coordinates message passing between the researchers (in general, the requesters of de-identified PHI) and clinical collaborators (who have access to PHI) by use of a protocol that protects confidentiality.

RESULTS:

We describe the design requirements of this communication scheme and present implementation details of the web application and its associated database.

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that this scheme provides a useful communication mechanism that facilitates clinical research while maintaining confidentiality of patient data.

PMID:
17502264
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1952658
Free PMC Article
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