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UPEI’s Centre for Health and Community Research (CHCR) is developing the Secure Island Data Repository (SIDR), a facility that will provide researchers with timely access to administrative data in a secure and controlled setting. SIDR is the first data repository of its kind in Prince Edward Island. Since 2015, the CHCR has led the development of SIDR, in collaboration with stakeholders from UPEI, the Department of Health and Wellness, Health PEI, and through consultation with our colleagues from the New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data, and Training (NB-IRDT).
SIDR was developed using a privacy-by-design approach, which kept the protection of Islanders' privacy at the forefront of every stage of its design. Numerous physical, administrative and technical safeguards are in place in order to protect the privacy of the database content. SIDR is in its final stages of development and is expected to be operational in the 2021-22 fiscal year.
SIDR will initially hold record-level administrative health data that does not contain direct identifiers such as names, addresses, or health card numbers. A unique number is assigned to each citizen to assure that their information can be linked according to time and across data sources and government departments. These data do not contain any information that would or could identify a person. Eventually, data from other government departments (e.g., education, justice, social development and housing) and other research data sources such as large-scale population health surveys are foreseen to be added to the data holdings.
Funding for this initiative was provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research through the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit and Health Data Research Network Canada, and the PEI Department of Health and Wellness.