Exploring Missouri's New, Innovative, and Multilayered Health Data Suppression Rules


In Spring 2017, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MODHSS) launched the Missouri Public Health Information Management System (MOPHIMS) web-based health data platform. Missouri has supported a similar data system since the 1990s, allowing the public, local public health departments, and other stakeholders access to community level birth, death, and hospitalization data (among other datasets). The MOPHIMS system is composed of two separate pieces. Community Data Profiles are topic-, disease-, or demographic-specific reports that contain 15-10 indicators relevant to the report. Because these static reports are developed in-house a multilayered suppression rule is not required. The second piece of MOPHIMS, the Data MICAs, or Missouri Information for Community Assessent, can be used to create customized datasets that slice and dice up to a dozen demographic and system-specific variables to answer complex research questions. The MOPHIMS interface features, among other things, a new and innovative method for addressing confidentiality concerns through the suppression of health data. This pioneering approach integrates multi-level logic that uses inner and outer cell analytics, the use of exempt and conditionally exempt variables, and multiple levels of user access. Moving beyond a simple model of suppressing any values below a certain threshold, MOPHIMS takes a bold step in providing users exceptionally granular data while still protecting citizen privacy.

Objective: By the end of this session, users will be able to describe the innovative and multilayered suppression rules that are applied to Missouri's homegrown health data web query system. They will also be able to use the lessons learned and user feedback described in the session to facilitate discussions surrounding the application of suppression to their specific data systems.

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Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
January, 2019

June 18, 2019

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