NF: Two FOSS Patient Record De-Identifiers

Two patient record data de-identifiers or ‘scrubbers’ are highlighted in this Newsforge report: ‘…HMS Scrubber version 1.0, was recently able to remove more than 98 percent of identifiers — such as name, address, and Social Security number — from 1,254 pathology reports processed from three hospitals. Developed by a team from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston…HMS Scrubber is not the only open source scrubber program that holds promise for medical researchers. Concept-Match …uses an external list of about 80,000 approved word “doublets” that contain no identifying terms. Berman says his current list of doublets was derived from two open source medical vocabularies, and the algorithm is relatively simple.

“The method can be scripted in under 20 Perl command lines,” Berman says in his comment. “This program is free software. You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License.”…’

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