Judith C. Maro, MS; Richard Platt, MD, MSc; John H. Holmes, PhD; Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH; Sean Hennessy, PharmD, PhD; Ross Lazarus, MBBS, MPH; Jeffrey S. Brown, PhD
Maro JC, Platt R, Holmes JH, Strom BL, Hennessy S, Lazarus R, et al. Design of a National Distributed Health Data Network. Ann Intern Med. 2009;151:341-344. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-151-5-200909010-00139
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(5):341-344.
The Distributed Ambulatory Research in Therapeutics Network (DARTNet) is a federated network of electronic health data from 8 organizations representing more than 500 clinicians and more than 400Â 000 patients. DARTNet was designed to increase knowledge of the comparative effectiveness of prescription medications and medical devices. Traditional observational comparative effectiveness research is conducted using large data sets, such as claims databases. Such databases do not provide important clinical information that is critical to understanding comparative effectiveness. By linking electronic health records, laboratory and imaging data, and administrative data from diverse and geographically disparate patients, DARTNet provides important new insight into the comparative effectiveness of oral diabetes medications, and it is ready for expansion to further enable effectiveness research.
Supports both observational and intervention studies.
Local data holder control over access and uses of data.
Mitigates need to share or exchange protected health information.
Singular, multipurpose, multi-institutional infrastructure.
An authorized user accesses the secure network Web site to submit queries (computer programs) to run against data in the network datamarts. The boxes at the far right depict areas under control of the data holder (data holders A through D are shown). Authorization to execute a query is under control of the data holder and can be limited to specific users and uses. Data holders retrieve queries for execution, which eliminates the need for data holders to monitor incoming requests. Query results are encrypted and returned to the central Web site, where they are processed and presented to the requester. Details of each step are recorded for auditing.
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