The University of Michigan Honest Broker: a Web-based service for clinical and translational research and practice

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2009 Nov-Dec;16(6):784-91. doi: 10.1197/jamia.M2985. Epub 2009 Aug 28.


For the success of clinical and translational science, a seamless interoperation is required between clinical and research information technology. Addressing this need, the Michigan Clinical Research Collaboratory (MCRC) was created. The MCRC employed a standards-driven Web Services architecture to create the U-M Honest Broker, which enabled sharing of clinical and research data among medical disciplines and separate institutions. Design objectives were to facilitate sharing of data, maintain a master patient index (MPI), deidentification of data, and routing data to preauthorized destination systems for use in clinical care, research, or both. This article describes the architecture and design of the U-M HB system and the successful demonstration project. Seventy percent of eligible patients were recruited for a prospective study examining the correlation between interventional cardiac catheterizations and depression. The U-M Honest Broker delivered on the promise of using structured clinical knowledge shared among providers to help clinical and translational research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research* / organization & administration
  • Biomedical Research* / statistics & numerical data
  • Computer Security
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination*
  • Information Systems*
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Interinstitutional Relations*
  • Internet
  • Michigan
  • User-Computer Interface