BACKGROUND: A lack of consensus currently exists about which uses of patient data require informed consent or review by a human research ethics committee. However, any use of patient data other than for clinical care, requires the consent of the patient. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to discuss strategies for strengthening current practices regarding the use of patient information in general practice research, evaluation and audit. DISCUSSION: Increasing community discussion and debate with respect to the use of patient data for research and evaluation is a pressing issue. Divisions of general practice are well placed to lead in this debate given the extent of community representation in many divisions' activities. Development of guidelines for use by those undertaking research and evaluation activities in general practice, based upon the Privacy Principles, will ensure a high standard of protection for patients. Community based Human Research Ethics Committees may be an appropriate way of providing education and training as well as a review of general practice research and related activities.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Australian Family Physician|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|