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Patient Data Sharing and Confidentiality Practices of Researchers in Jordan

Authors Karasneh RA, Al-Azzam SI, Alzoubi KH, Hawamdeh SS, Muflih SM

Received 19 August 2019

Accepted for publication 14 November 2019

Published 29 November 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 255—263


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto

Reema A Karasneh,1 Sayer I Al-Azzam,2 Karem H Alzoubi,2 Sahar S Hawamdeh,2 Suhaib M Muflih2

1Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan; 2Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan

Correspondence: Reema A Karasneh
Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Yarmouk University, P.O. Box 566, Irbid 21163, Jordan
Tel +962 02 7211111, Ext: 7141
Fax +962 02 7211162

Purpose: The main focus of this study is to assess the knowledge and practices of healthcare practitioners regarding data sharing, security, and confidentiality, with a focus on the use of health data retrieved from electronic health records (EHRs) for research purposes.
Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional, questionnaire-based survey study was conducted across all academic institutions including all researchers in the medical field in Jordan. Personal and administrative practices in data sharing were assessed through collecting data from respondents.
Results: The response rate was 22% with an average of 10.25 years of experience in publications. Almost 60% had published at least 1 to 3 studies using EHRs. The prevalence of researchers who “Always” used antivirus software and preserved patient’s information was 75.5% and 92.2%, respectively. However, other personal security and confidentiality measures were not satisfactory. Less than half of health data used in the research was “Always” anonymised or encrypted and only around 44.0% had “Always” used sensitive data with more specificity than normal data.
Conclusion: Confidentiality and data sharing practices of healthcare practitioners and researchers were generally less than optimal. Efforts from healthcare providers, health institutions, and lawmakers should be put in place to protect the security and confidentiality of electronic patient data.

Keywords: electronic, health records, EHRs, privacy, ethics

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