Anonymising and sharing individual patient data

BMJ. 2015 Mar 20:350:h1139. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h1139.


There is a strong movement to share individual patient data for secondary purposes, particularly for research. A major obstacle to broad data sharing has been the concern for patient privacy. One of the methods for protecting the privacy of patients in accordance with privacy laws and regulations is to anonymise the data before it is shared. This article describes the key concepts and principles for anonymising health data while ensuring it remains suitable for meaningful analysis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research
  • Canada
  • Confidentiality* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Data Collection / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • European Union
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Medical Records
  • United States