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Honest Broker System & Services of the RIS

Establishing a Collaborative Honest Broker Service

UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh facilitated the process for developing honest broker services by providing this template on the Pitt IRB web site.

The Oncology Informatics Program of UPMC Cancer Centers took the initiative of developing the first, cross-divisional, collaborative broker service. The initial application for this service was submitted to the IRB on April 30, 2003 in accordance with UPMC Policy #HS-EC1611. Approval was received on May 8, 2003 (IRB Approval # HB015). There are currently 33 honest brokers included in this service: 15 from the Pathology/Health Sciences Tissue Bank (HSTB), 6 from Registry Information Services (RIS), 1 from Magee Gynecologic Oncology Division, 5 from Pathology/Oncology Informatics and 6 from the Department of BioMedical Informatics (DBMI). All honest brokers involved with this service are certified in accordance with UPMC and University of Pittsburgh IRB policy. HB015 is used as the “gold-standard” model by the UPMC/University IRB.

The Director of the Registry Research Information Service also manages the collaborative Honest Broker Service. This Honest Broker System is a collaborative service of brokers representing the Department of Pathology, Health Sciences Tissue Bank (HSTB), Magee Womens Gynecologic Oncology Division of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences (OB/GYN/RS) and Womens Health, UPMC ISD/Pathology Informatics, UPMC ISD/Oncology Informatics and the UPMC Network Cancer Registry/UPMC Cancer Centers Registry Information Services (RIS). These centers currently have multiple faculty, staff, and graduate students who perform research as inter-related groups.

The mission of this Honest Broker Service is to ensure compliance with specific regulatory agency guidelines, including the Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the release of information, specifically PHI, involving data stored in applications developed, managed and/or utilized by CIS through the following objectives:

Most Current IRB Approval Documents

Identity of the Honest Broker System or Process: - University of Pittsburgh Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI), UPMC Department of Pathology, Health Sciences Tissue Bank (HSTB), Department of Otolaryngology of the Eye and Ear Institute, Magee Womens Hospital of UPMC Gynecologic Oncology Division of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and Womens Health UPMC ISD/Pathology Informatics, UPMC ISD/Oncology Informatics and the UPMC Network Cancer Registry/ UPMC Cancer Centers Registry Information Services (RIS)

Honest Broker Certification: - UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh have facilitated this process by establishing joint policies and procedures and web-based modules for individuals employed by the health system or university to become certified honest brokers. In accordance with UPMC policy HS-EC1807, brokers are required to successfully test in the modules located below. At the completion of these modules, a certificate is generated for the individual.

Adding and/or Removing Brokers to/from the Service

Communication with leaders of each of the divisions involved in the collaborative honest broker service are conducted by the manager and administrative support teams to determine if there have been any new hires or terminations of individuals involved at the department levels.

New brokers must first pass the education/certification modules as mentioned in the honest broker certification section above. In accordance with UPMC policy HS-EC1807, University of Pittsburgh employees must complete and sign a business associate agreement (BAA).

A complete revision of the application must be submitted to the IRB. Any brokers to be added or removed need to be reflected in the revision. A copy of any relevant BAAs must accompany the revision documents. Once the IRB approves, a letter is sent to the Manager of the service and all documents are distributed to members of the service.