The Joint Commission will begin offering a new certification program aimed at protecting patient privacy and creating standards for the secondary use of de-identified healthcare data.
The program's goal is to provide an objective evaluation of whether best practices are being observed in the use of data and secondary data, the commission said Tuesday. Secondary use of data refers to the transfer of healthcare information to third-party organizations for reasons other than clinical care, including improvement of quality and operations, discovery or algorithm, as well as artificial intelligence development.
The voluntary program will evaluate hospitals based on the de-identification process, data controls, limitations on use, algorithm validation, patient transparency and oversight structure. Hospitals can begin applying for the certification Jan. 1.
Dr. Jonathan Perlin, the commission's president and CEO, said the idea for a new certification program emerged from a desire by healthcare organizations to find a third-party source to verify that healthcare data is being used ethically and responsibly.