The PBTC neuroimaging studies are sent across a secure tunnel from the sites to the Operations Office (OBC) at St. Jude's Hospital and then to the Neuroimaging Center at Boston Children's Hospital. Software in the Operations Office is used to replace the patient identifiers with PBTC codes. It is important that the patient identifiers are stripped and replaced with PBTC codes at the Operations office as it not only maintains patient confidentiality before the studies are sent to the NeuroImaging Center of the PBTC, it also provides us with the accountability to match correct patient data with the imaging studies.
Throughout the transmission process from the PBTC sites to the Operations Office of PBTC and then onwards to the Neuroimaging Center of PBTC, the OBC is employing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution. The data are highly encrypted and encapsulated in this secure tunnel. This VPN solution has been used to transmit the PBTC database that has all patient information from the PBTC sites to the Operations Office at least once every week for the last 3 years. The OBC staff are fully aware of the HIPAA regulations and have made sure that the Operations Office conform to the HIPAA regulations in their work for the Consortium.
MR and PET studies are downloaded from the OBC after email notification to the NIC. The NIC completes a web-based form to indicate that download is completed. The studies are sorted into the appropriate protocol folder on the NIC PC workstation and backed up to the PBTC NIC server.