Our secure technology and processes will stand the test of time and support future innovation and improvements. Here’s how:
Faster data processing
We’re managing larger volumes of incoming data to ensure it’s accurate, useful and secure, and processing it faster than we have ever done before.
Secure cloud technology
By moving the information we collect to secure cloud technology, we will reduce potential security risks associated with storing data across separate systems.
Better data quality
We’re standardising and automating the way we match patients with their records to deliver more complete and usable data.
Protecting patient data
We're using market leading privacy technology to develop a de-identification process that protects patient privacy by removing the identifiable information from a patient’s record so it can be safely used for research and planning. All information is encrypted in transit and when it's stored.
There are currently, different ways of de-identifying data across the NHS, but this new technology standardises and automates the way we do this. This means there will be less need to manually prepare patient information.
Our services also support the National Data Opt Out policy, giving citizen's better control and information about how their health and care data is used for planning and research.
Better data linkage
Data linkage is important because it maximises the value of the data we collect across health and care.
Our consistent de-identification process will let us link data across different care settings and geographic boundaries, creating a richer and broader data set that can be used for research and planning, without revealing a patient’s identity and only where there is a legal basis for this.
Improved data access
Our customers can access high-quality, better-linked data via a secure Data Access Environment, which will ensure the right person, with the right legal basis, has access to the right data for their needs. Giving our customers access to data in this way, reduces the need for data to leave NHS Digital.
What's more customers can take their insights to the next level by using a range of built-in analysis and visualisation tools.
We plan to reduce the amount of data being processed outside central, secure data environments and we are targeting for at least 80% of all data we make available to be accessed via our Data Access Environment (or other NHS Digital accredited secure data environments) by March 2022. However, we recognise that some customers will need to receive data and we will continue to support this option.
All data access is strictly managed by our Data Access Request Service, with advice from the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD) and in line with requirements of the Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG).