TACC Now Authorized to Work with HIPAA Data

Posted on: April 30, 2015

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin announced two game-changing capabilities last month. Thanks to the UT Research Cyberinfrastructure (UTRC) initiative all University of Texas System medical researchers and their collaborators can submit Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) data for use on TACC platforms, specifically the Lonestar supercomputer and Corral storage system. HIPAA is the Federal law that protects Personalized Health Information (PHI). More TACC systems will be HIPAA compliant in the near future. Also, TACC is now authorized to work with Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) data.

Now that TACC has received the authority to operate with HIPAA data, medical researchers can use the same world-class resources as researchers in other fields. These new capabilities will enable researchers within all 15 UT System institutions who work with large clinical data sets to take advantage of advanced computational systems, large data storage, and high speed data access.

With TACCs newly acquired HIPAA authority, medical researchers will collaborate by sharing confidential, patient-specific data sets without going through de-identification and other processes that slow down connecting research discoveries with patient outcomes.

The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) categorizes information and information systems according to risk level. TACCs recent FISMA accreditation is based on achieving three primary security objectives: confidentiality, integrity and availability of systems and data.

Dan Stanzione, TACC Executive Director, said: Overall, this compliance with HIPAA and FISMA opens up new frontiers of clinical data sets and unique kinds of research. Medical researchers who have increasingly needed access to large-scale high performance computing resources are now able to do so.

This is an exciting development for TACC enabling future discoveries in medical research and advancing science and technology for the betterment of our world. Perfect timing for the new Dell Medical School.

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