Maintaining privacy and the health of the publicBMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7141.1331 (Published 02 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1331
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A Clinical Record (CR) will contain information about a patient's medical condition/treatment as well as his/her address, age, etc. It is this information about the condition and treatment that most researchers will be interested in.
If the infomation is stored electronically then it becomes quite easy to control and grant access to those fields (attributes about patients' medical/clinical condition) that are required by the researchers and other interested parties while maintaining privacy. Use of aliases for patients (name, address,etc) will help maintain privacy should the researchers come back to get more/future information on the same patients.
However, it requires trusted parties (hospitals, etc) to maintain and oversee the use of such systems and to respect the privacy of individuals/patients. The parties that use the infomation should also co-operate with hospitals to maintain the privacy and cofidentiality of such information.
It should be noted that it's my personal comment and I am not writing on behalf of my Employer.
Competing interests: No competing interests