A recent press release reports, “NHS Digital has signed a contract to deliver a new software solution for the de-identification of patient information, which will help to improve the way that data is used across the NHS and social care. De-identification is the process used to prevent a person’s identity from being connected with their information. The new de-identification process (known as De-ID) will protect patient privacy by de-identifying a person’s records in a consistent way. This will mean that when the right legal basis, controls and safeguards are in place, data can be linked across different care settings and geographic boundaries. This will help to improve health and care services through research and planning, and ultimately lead to better individual care. NHS Digital will deliver De-ID in partnership with privacy engineering company Privitar, who were chosen following a rigorous tendering process.”
NHS Digital’s Executive Director of Data, Insights and Statistics Tom Denwood said: “The health and care landscape is rapidly changing, and we can improve individual patient care if our systems can deliver a complete picture of their health and care. Although we already use various ways of de-identifying data across the NHS, the difference with De-ID is that it provides one, consistent way of doing this. So instead of each individual NHS team managing their own de-identification processes, De-ID provides an automated and standardised way of removing the identifying values in a patient record across all data collections, allowing data to be linked across different care settings. It’s not only more efficient; enabling us to safely produce useful data for research and analysis, but it’s also transparent, so we can improve tracking and auditing of how data is used across the system.”
Read more at Privitar.com.
Photo credit: NHS