Demand Secure Data Handling for Your Research Projects

Using a spreadsheet application you would use for tracking your institution’s office supplies is just not competitive (or ethical).

As admitted technophiles, we really enjoy working at the data-driven intersection of health and technology, and we are happy to see the new and continued opportunities in that area coming out of NIH, PCORI, and other funders. But we also remain dismayed by proposals from institutions with access to RedCAP that propose storing sensitive patient data in a spreadsheet program on a server (no indication of the security level of the server). I would encourage all research faculty and staff to enquire about the details of data collection, management, security, and storage when signing on to be part of a research project involving any research data, but especially patient data, and to work with research partners to develop a plan for the data that leverages the secure resources at hand.