When it comes to asking sensitive medical questions of research participants, the Respondent platform urges researchers to review the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 1996. HIPAA is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.
If you are required to comply with HIPAA, you cannot ask for medical information on the screener questions or via messaging since the Respondent platform is not HIPAA compliant.
However, this doesn't mean that you can't use the platform. You can collect non-medical data via Respondent, and then use a HIPAA compliant tool to conduct your interviews or other research.
It is the responsibility of the researcher, not the platform, to manage this compliance.
From a practical stand-point, validating respondents medical conditions presents some difficulties. In order to ensure researchers connect with properly qualified candidates, we suggest you follow these 3 tips:
- Do not reveal the medical condition in the project title or project description. Keeping things generic i.e. 'Seeking people who have recently visited a dermatologist' is better than 'Seeking people with dermatitis' as this may lead candidates to provide false diagnoses.
- Understand patients experiences using simple open ended questions. i.e. In a few words, describe your treatment process.
- Dig into time lines and prescriptions
All of the above information is treated with the utmost privacy and respect by the Respondent platform, and it is the platforms expectation that Researchers will reciprocate this.