Data sharing agreement between SMPH and UW Health will facilitate clinical research while safeguarding privacy

In February, a formal Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) was signed by representatives of UW Health and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH). The agreement will enable authorized researchers to access clinical research data in support of biomedical research. The DSA allows for rapid translation of research innovations aimed at improving care and maintaining compliance with Institutional Review Board (IRB), privacy, security and legal requirements.

As part of the agreement, the Clinical and Health Informatics Institute (CHI2) will create the UW Research Data Commons, a research data repository with real-time and historical data from clinical systems. The Data Commons will be configured to both manage data securely and facilitate cutting edge research. “For example, we will develop various disease-specific research registries to advance research and recruitment to clinical trials,” said Jomol Mathew, PhD, SMPH chief of biomedical informatics and associate professor of population health sciences.

This agreement milestone is supported by procedural mechanisms to safeguard compliance. “We have established an ‘Informatics and Workflow-Related Policies for Clinical Research Steering Committee’ with IRB, privacy, security and legal members from both the SMPH and UW Health designed to establish guidelines and processes for implementation,” said Elizabeth Burnside, MD, MPH, MS, associate dean for team science and interdisciplinary research.

In addition to Mathew and Burnside, others who worked diligently to create the Data Sharing Agreement include John Long, VP, Enterprise Analytics, UW Health, Chero Goswami, Chief Information Officer, UW Health; Lisa Wilson, UW-Madison Senior University Legal Counsel; Gabriel Jensen, Director, Compliance, Hospital Services, UW Health; Amanda Reese, UW-Madison HIPAA Privacy Officer; Claire Finando, UW Health Corporate Counsel; Kerry Moskol, UW Health Corporate Counsel; Troy Lepien, UW Health VP Business Integrity and Chief Compliance Officer; and Paul VanAmerongen, UW Health VP and Chief Information Security Officer.

“This is an inspiring era in biomedical research in which the strong partnership between UW Health and SMPH plays a critical role,” said Alan S. Kaplan, MD, chief executive officer of UW Health. “There are many exciting discoveries in our future.”

“This Data Sharing Agreement will dramatically advance our shared missions,” echoed Robert N. Golden, MD, dean of SMPH. “It will greatly benefit the capacity of our faculty and staff to rapidly translate data into meaningful advances in patient care and health promotion.”

If you are interested in learning more about using data for research, please complete a CHI2 consultation form.