Storing Identifiers

Storing Identifiers in REDCap

We recommend the following when considering the storage of identifiers in REDCap.

Maintaining a Master List

It is common practice for study sites to maintain a master "recruitment" list using a tool such as an Excel spreadsheet.  Here at the University of Alberta HREB suggests that this master list can be maintained in REDCap using a project that is separate from the main study database. 

System Compliance

The installation of REDCap at the University of Alberta is generally considered to comply with the requirements of the Health Information Act of Alberta (HIA). It has been the subject of several privacy impact assessments (PIAs) that have been accepted by the OIPC. REDCap’s compliance with HIA security requirements is documented in this document. More detailed information is contained in our privacy document.

Should identifiers be stored in a separate database?

The formal requirement to store the ULI or other identifiers in a separate database originates from article 3.2 of TCPS (2005) which states "...information that identifies individuals or groups should be kept in different databases with unique identifiers." However, TCPS was superseded by TCPS2 in 2010 and 2014. The relevant section of TCPS 2 (Article 5) contains no such requirement. For this reason, with the approval of the REB, identifiers may be stored in the REDCap project - see the note about data matching above.