Skip to main content
Text Size: sML

NIH and NIH/VA researchers: Note on protecting research participants' private info

NIH and NIH/VA researchers: Note on protecting research participants' private info

Recently, an external hard drive which may have contained sensitive personal information of research participants was stolen from a regional Veteran's Administration (VA) facility. As a result, the VA has instituted new security measures for its researchers to protect sensitive data and information (see http://www.research.va.gov/resources/policies/cybersecurity.cfm.) The National Institutes of Health (NIH) shares the VA's commitment to protect sensitive personal data and information used in research to advance the health and well being of all Americans. We are asking that NIH principal investigators who collaborate with VA researchers or conduct research at VA facilities, work directly with their VA counterparts at the local level to determine the impact of the VA policies on ongoing NIH-supported research.

We also request that as part of the proper stewardship of federal funds and to meet requirements of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act Of 1996) [see: http://privacyruleandresearch.nih.gov. and Notice (NOT-OD-07-054)] you continue to take all reasonable and appropriate action to prevent the inadvertent disclosure, release or loss of sensitive information.