Policy on Patient Confidentiality

PATIENT privacy and confidentiality of patient information have always been core values of both the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic, whether in regard to clinical practice or research. That commitment is equally important to the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics. To affirm and underscore that value, the Partnership endorses the following: Research conducted by the Partnership will meet or exceed all U.S. and Minnesota laws and regulations regarding use of patient records, as well as clinical data and biological samples.

As members of the Partnership, each institution:

  • Safeguards patient confidentiality through written policies, employee training and standard operating procedures.
  • Complies with the requirements of federally mandated Institutional Review Boards, which carefully review all patient-related research proposals specifically to protect patient confidentiality and serve an important role in the protection of the rights and welfare of people involved in research.
  • Appropriately informs each prospective participant in a research trial and obtains consent from each for collection and use of clinical samples.
  • Abides by the federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which, again, requires informed consent.
  • Makes information on its privacy policies and procedures publicly available.
  • Works closely with federal and state policymakers, as well as with its own bioethicists, to ensure research processes carry the highest regard for protecting patient confidentiality.
  • Conducts research so as to continue to earn patients’ confidence and trust, as our institutions have for over a century.