ABSTRACT

This chapter introduces the secondary data research process, including formulating the research question, finding funding and sponsorship, and ensuring data are available and accessible. It deals with a research planner useful when undertaking secondary data analyses. Much has been written about ethical issues surrounding beneficial and (tragically) detrimental public health research. The chapter focuses on institutional review board (IRB) procedures for secondary data derived from the electronic health record (EHR). Familiarity with the research aims, data collection process, protection of the participants' identity, and minimization of risk to the participants are all part of the informed consent process that the IRB will review. If the research will demand primary data collection intended to supplement the secondary data, then a full IRB review will be necessary and is discussed in more detail in the chapter. The chapter presents an example research planner useful for conceptualizing the research study and assessing data availability and accessibility.