How can you make my records de-identified for research?
Our process is fairly sophisticated. We don’t just redact your records by crossing out or deleting your name. When preparing records to share with researchers, we actually extract specific pieces of information from your records—like lab results or medications—and put those into a separate file. Then we combine those with similar information from other de-identified patient records. So the actual file researchers receive is primarily a spreadsheet with a bunch of numbers, drug names, and dates. This is the most useful format for their research, and it also does a much better job of protecting patient privacy than sharing full medical records. Most of our research includes hundreds or thousands of patients, ensuring that this collective information is totally de-identified.