August 13, 2018: JAMA Commentary Highlights the Value of Data Enclaves and Distributed Data Networks

In a JAMA Viewpoint published online last week, NIH Collaboratory investigator Dr. Richard Platt and colleague Dr. Tracy Lieu discuss the value of “data enclaves” to facilitate information sharing in support of research, quality improvement, and public health reporting.

Creating data enclaves allows health systems to share useful information from their clinical data without releasing the actual data. Data enclaves can be linked with each other in distributed data networks to create powerful resources for researchers and other analysts. The authors note that efforts to realize this vision must address concerns about protecting patients’ personal information, the costs and work required to make the data usable for analysis, and incentives for health systems to participate.

Dr. Platt is a cochair of the NIH Collaboratory’s Distributed Research Network, which uses a common data model that enables investigators to collaborate with each other in the use of electronic health data while safeguarding protected health information and proprietary data.