Pilot evaluation of sensitive data segmentation technology for privacy

Adela Grando, Davide Sottara, Ripudaman Singh, Anita Murcko, Hiral Soni, Tianyu Tang, Nassim Idouraine, Michael Todd, Mike Mote, Darwyn Chern, Christy Dye, Mary Jo Whitfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Consent2Share (C2S) is an open source software created by the Office of the National Coordinator Data Segmentation for Privacy initiative to support electronic health record (EHR) granular segmentation. To date, there are no published formal evaluations of Consent2Share. Method: Structured data (e.g. medications) codified using standard clinical terminologies (e.g. RxNorm) was extracted from the EHR of 36 patients with behavioral health conditions from study sites. EHRs were available through a health information exchange and two sites. The EHR data was already classified into data types (e.g. procedures and services). Both Consent2Share and health providers classified EHR data based on value sets (e.g. mental health) and sensitivity (e.g. not sensitive. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square analysis were used to compare differences between data categorizations. Results: From the resulting 1,080 medical records items, 584 were distinct. Significant differences were found between sensitivity classifications by Consent2Share and providers (χ2 (2, N = 584) = 114.74, p = <0.0001). Sensitivity comparisons led to 56.0 % of agreements, 31.2 % disagreements, and 12.8 % partial agreements. Most (97.8 %) disagreements resulted from information classified as not sensitive by Consent2Share, but sensitive by provider (e.g. behavioral health prevention education service). In terms of data types, most disagreements (57.1 %) focused on procedures and services information (e.g. ligation of fallopian tube). When considering value sets, most disagreements focused on genetic data (100.0 %), followed by sexual and reproductive health (88.9 %). Conclusions: There is a need to further validate Consent2Share before broad use in health care settings. The outcomes from this pilot study will help guide improvements in segmentation logic of tools like Consent2Share and may set the stage for a new generation of personalized consent engines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104121
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Data privacy
  • Data segmentation
  • Electronic medical records

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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