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Research privacy

  • Allina Health follows both state and federal regulations regarding the use and disclosure of patient medical record data for research purposes.

    HIPAA requirements

    Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, Allina Health investigators and business unit personnel must meet specific requirements for the use and disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI) for research purposes.

    Read Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information for Research Policy for more information. 

    Minnesota state statute requirements

    In addition to the requirements under HIPAA, Allina Health abides by Minnesota state law concerning the release of health records for research purposes.  Minnesota law (Minnesota Health Records Act, sections 144.291 to 144.298) contains restrictions on access to PHI that are more protective of patient rights than HIPAA and therefore must be followed. Researchers must ensure compliance with both HIPAA and Minnesota law. 

    The Minnesota Health Records Act requires that patients authorize the release of their health records to external researchers.  Allina Health obtains such authorization by having patients sign a Minnesota Research Authorization (MRA). The MRA is part of a document called the Consent for Release of Information and is obtained through the patient registration process.