Friday, May 17, 2024

FedScoop: National Center for Health Statistics targeting fall launch of virtual data enclave

The National Center for Health Statistics is testing a virtual data enclave internally to make its sensitive data available to more researchers, with plans to onboard select pilot projects in the fall, according to its Research Data Center director…

The launch of the enclave represents a culture shift for a “fairly conservative” federal statistical agency, in response to the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2019 encouraging increased data releases, Russell said. NCHS — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention center that tracks vital statistics on births, deaths, diseases and conditions to inform public health decisions — recognized researchers having to go to one of four secure research data centers (RDCs) or 32 federal statistical RDCs (FSRDCs) nationwide to access its restricted-use data was impractical…

NCHS’s sister agency, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, already had an operational VDE, so the former didn’t require a contract. Instead NCHS sent NIOSH its enclave requirements designed for data scientists and payment, which came out of CDC Data Modernization Initiative funds, in September.

NIOSH had no way of handling non-CDC employees logging into the VDE, so the General Services Administration’s Login.gov service was used. Outside researchers must show their driver’s license to create an account, and NCHS conducts virtual inspections of their offsite locations… Read the full article here.

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Jackie Gilbert
Jackie Gilbert
Jackie Gilbert is a Content Analyst for FedHealthIT and Author of 'Anything but COVID-19' on the Daily Take Newsletter for G2Xchange Health and FedCiv.

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