Patient Outcomes Database Post Three: Approval

This is my third blog post discussing my 2017 Monroe Project. Since my last post, I have officially finished the credentialing process at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center! I have a shiny new Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card which allows me to access the VA Network, where I can check my work email and access the VA RedCap platform. I was also approved for remote access, so I can complete these tasks without commuting an hour (one-way) from Williamsburg to Richmond.
Dr. Moghanaki and I have completely flushed out our plan for the project. We now hope to not only build the patient outcomes database on REDCap, but also to use the REDCap software as a new platform for patient record management in the clinic. Doing so will require us to receive approval to use REDCap for QI (quality improvement) purposes. Additionally, we will need to verify that REDCap is approved by the VA for storage of PHI (protected health information). Currently, my main task is to determine which combination of people will be able to approve or sufficiently verify the approval of REDCap for PHI storage and contact them. So far, this has proven difficult. Emails and phone calls have both had a fairly long turn-around time, and the first set of responses has only served to lead me to a new list of names and organizations to contact. I am optimistic that I will get to the bottom of the matter shortly. In the meantime, we have begun exploring alternative software options. The most promising of these, Illume DatStat, seems to provide a similar feature set to the REDCap software and may already be approved for the storage of PHI by the VA.

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