Confidential and implied confidential data may be requested from HHS, but require an agreement for release. All data agreements are coordinated through the Data Governance Program. This includes requests for row-level or individual level data, even if deidentified.
Statistical summary data which are not considered implied confidential may be released without an agreement. For summary and county-level data, please contact the appropriate program area or sent an email to RERC@idph.iowa.gov.
Separate processes exist for research and non-research related confidential or implied confidential data requests. These processes and all associated policies are outlined below.
Researchers may request Iowa HHS-owned data. A Research Agreement must be in place for any of these data to be used for research purposes. The Research and Ethics Review Committee (RERC) is responsible for receiving and evaluating all requests for Iowa HHS-owned data. The RERC meets monthly to review applications for research agreements.
Once an application is received, it will be placed in queue for RERC review upon receipt of all necessary documentation. After receipt of the complete application, the documents will be reviewed and a response will be provided to the primary investigator. The timing of reviews and final decisions are dependent on completeness of the application, primary investigator responsiveness to comments or questions from the RERC, and the number of applications under review at that time.
To initiate a Research Agreement with Iowa HHS, please review the below policies and guidance documents. A completed application, including variables requested, and other required documentation (see Research Agreement Application Checklist) must be submitted for RERC review. Questions and application materials can be sent to RERC@idph.iowa.gov.
- Research Agreement Application - Updated December 2018
- Vital Records Variable Form - Updated January 2018
NOTE: If you have issues accessing these forms, please try the following: 1) Download the form, 2) Complete a "save as", 3) Exit out of the form completely, 4) Re-open the form from the location where you have saved it on your computer.
HHS collects and maintains a wide variety of datasets, which may be available upon the approval of a Data Sharing Agreement. Data Sharing Agreements are required for the release of confidential or implied confidential data for non-research purposes. Examples of non-research include (but are not limited to) verification with vital records data, public health practice, and evaluations. All Data Sharing Agreements are coordinated through the HHS Data Governance Program. The data received shall only be used for the recorded purpose and requestors are expected to comply with all confidentiality policies to protect the privacy of subjects.
To initiate a Data Sharing Agreement with HHS, please review the below policies related to data release and complete the application. Questions and application can be sent to RERC@idph.iowa.gov.
Confidential Public Health Information, Record, or Data: A record, certificate, report, data, dataset, or information which is confidential under federal or state law. As a general rule, public health records which contain personally identifiable information of a health-related nature are confidential under Iowa law.
Implied Confidential Public Health Data: Data which could be used to indirectly establish the identity of a person named in a confidential public health record by the linking of the released information or data with known external information which allows for the identification of such person. This commonly includes de-identified row-level information about an individual, and can also include some small count sizes.
For more information about the release of confidential or implied confidential IDPH data, please refer to the Iowa HHS policy below.