A National Network of Safe Havens: A Scottish Perspective

Chuang Gao, Mark McGilchrist, Shahzad Mumtaz, Christopher Hall, Lesley Anderson, John Zurowski, Sharon Gordon, Joanne Lumsden, Vicky Munro, Artur Wozniak, Michael Sibley, Christopher Banks, Chris Duncan, Pamela Linksted, Alastair Hume, Catherine Stables, Charlie Mayor, Jacqueline Caldwell, Katie Wilde, Christian ColeEmily Jefferson (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint

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For over a decade, Scotland has implemented and operationalised a system of Safe Havens providing secure analytics platforms for researchers to access linked, de-identified Electronic Health Records (EHRs) while managing the risk of unauthorised re- identification. In this paper a perspective is provided on the state-of-the-art Scottish Safe Haven Network, including its evolution, to define the key activities required to scale Scottish Safe Haven Network capability to facilitate research and healthcare improvement initiatives. A set of processes related to EHR data and their delivery in Scotland are discussed. An interview with each Safe Haven was conducted to understand their services in detail and the commonalities. The results present how Safe Havens in Scotland have protected privacy while facilitating the reuse of the EHR data. This study provides a common definition of a ‘Safe Haven’ and promotes a consistent understanding among the Scottish Safe Haven Network as well as the clinical and academic research community. We conclude by identifying areas where efficiencies across the network can be made to meet the needs of population-level studies at scale.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherJMIR Publications Inc.
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2021


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