De-identification

Definition

De-identification is the process of removing personally identifiable information such as names, social security numbers, and street addresses from records or a dataset. (See Further Resources below for information on other examples of personally identifiable information and protected health information.) De-identification is typically done when preparing data for sharing in order to help prevent others from identifying individuals based on their participation in a research study. Sharing health information publicly can cause harm to individuals, and patient information is protected by laws such as The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), making de-identification a very important step in preparing data for sharing.

Similar Terms

Data cleaning
Anonymization
Tools

NLM-Scrubber is a freely available clinical text de-identification tool designed and developed at the National Library of Medicine. https://lhncbc.nlm.nih.gov/scrubber/ 

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