Maintaining patient confidentiality in the public domain Internet Autopsy Database (IAD).

J. J. Berman, G. W. Moore, G. M. Hutchins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The Internet provides the opportunity of permitting public access to large databases containing patient information that can be shared and utilized by epidemiologists, health planners, and medical researchers. Until now, large databases containing patient information have been held in strict confidence, with database access available only to approved researchers or to researchers with access limited to only specific portions of the database. The Internet Autopsy Database (IAD) consists of demographic and pathologic data from over 49,000 autopsies contributed by over a dozen academic medical institutions. Each autopsy record in the public database consists of a uniform set of demographics and SNOMED-compatible terms. To make the database publicly available, a strategy had to be devised that assured the privacy of every person included in the database. A key step involved translating the autopsy facesheets into a listing of SNOMED-compatible terms that effectively eliminated identifying terminology, replacing free text with a generic nomenclature that preserves diagnostic information. The entire database is available on the Internet at:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-332
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings : a conference of the American Medical Informatics Association / ... AMIA Annual Fall Symposium. AMIA Fall Symposium
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Maintaining patient confidentiality in the public domain Internet Autopsy Database (IAD).'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this