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Research in Washington

        The state of Washington allows confidential information to be used sparingly for research purposes.  Individuals, or their legal representatives, may authorize, in writing, a state agency to disclose records containing their individually identifiable information for research purposes.  Once the individual has provided his or her consent, the state agency may release the information for research is a research board determines that there is scientific merit and failure to disclose with inhibit research, and the research entity has complied with relevant state and federal laws.1  Patient discharge data and financial data submitted by hospitals to the Department of Health may also be accessible to public or private research entities.2

        One instance where confidential information may be used is for cancer research.  Washington law allows the Department of Health to release confidential cancer registry information for research purposes only after the research project has been reviewed and approved by an institutional review board and a confidentiality agreement is negotiated.3  It is worth noting that Cancer Registry data must include patient identification data, race, Hispanic origin, occupation, as well as clinical information.4  Information contained in Washington’s trauma registry5 and in vital records6 may also be used for research purposes according to the law.

 

Footnotes

  • 1. Wash. Rev. Code §42.48.020
  • 2. Wash. Rev. Code §43.70.052
  • 3. Wash. Rev. Code §70.54.250; Wash. Admin. Code §246-102-070
  • 4. Wash. Admin. Code §246-102-040
  • 5. Wash. Admin. Code §246-976-430
  • 6. Wash. Rev. Code §70.58.104

 

Research in Washington

Subtopic Statute/Regulation Description
Research Wash. Admin. Code § 246-102-030 Cancer Registry Reporting Requirements The responsibility for identifying and reporting cases of cancer rests with health care facilities,...
Wash. Admin. Code § 246-102-070 Access and Release of Cancer Registry Information Cancer registry information may only be used for statistical, scientific, medical research and...
Wash. Admin. Code § 246-976-430 Provider Responsibilities for the Trauma Registry The Department of Health maintains a trauma registry, the purpose of which is to provide data for...
Wash. Rev. Code § 42.48.020 Access to personal records Individuals, or their legal representatives, may authorize, in writing, a state agency to disclose records containing...
Wash. Rev. Code § 43.20.285 Health impact reviews — Obtaining and allocating federal or private funding to implement chapter The state board of health, with the assistance...
Wash. Rev. Code § 70.54.250 Cancer registry program--Confidentiality The department of health may only use data from the cancer registry program for “statistical,...
Wash. Rev. Code § 70.58.104 Reproductions of vital records — Disclosure of information for research purposes — Furnishing of birth and death records by local...