What is GRHANITE™?

GRHANITE™ is computer software that provides researchers, managers and health professionals with the means to collect data for the purposes of audit, clinical research and health surveillance.

GRHANITE™ is designed to work in any environment where data is being routinely collected and addresses the many complex legal, ethical, organisational and technical barriers that prevent or hinder such vital activities in Australia.


Why is GRHANITE™ needed?

Organisations will not admit to it, but taking shortcuts in acquiring data is commonplace. The Australian public are very vocal in expressing and advocating their rights to privacy and confidentiality and there are many valid historical reasons why this is the case.

Melbourne University and the HIU share the scepticism of the general public and our aim is to do things right once-and-for-all. If shortcuts are taken, it is because doing things properly is difficult and expensive. We have undertaken to do the hard bits and commit the resources so that others don't have to.

The philosophy of GRHANITE™ is to provide one technological solution to healthcare data collection for audit, research and health surveillance that works Australia-wide.

What does GRHANITE™ do that is often missing from other solutions?

GRHANITE™ works with most databases technologies

GRHANITE™ has the built-in capability to source data from almost all modern database technologies. Interfaces to specific GP computer systems have been developed.
Database technologies:

Text files ODBC Oracle Firebird
Spreadsheets JDBC SQL Server 4D
OleDB .NET Provider Interbase MS Access
Paradox Visual Objects SQLite MySQL

GP Systems:
Medical Director V2 Medical Director V3 GENIE Best Practice
SHIP Communicare MedTech32 practiX

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GRHANITE™ manages consent processes

Depending on the consent requirements of a project, GRHANITE™ can help document who has given consent, when and for what purpose. GRHANITE™ will only transmit data where the appropriate permissions are in-place.

GHANITE™ Consent Management
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GRHANITE™ ensures study inclusion criteria are applied before data is transmitted

Data to exported can be restricted using any data held in the source database to exactly match study inclusion criteria:

For example:

Extract data for all patients who had two or more consultations in 2008 who were aged 16 - 29 at the time of consultation and who had an HBA1c test undertaken in the year prior to the first consultation

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GRHANITE™ aggregates data at the level required to answer questions

GRHANITE™ is able to analyse data while it is still within the originating clinic organisation. It can aggregate data at any level so that only essential data is exported. This includes removing aggregated data cells where the number of participants is too low to guarantee anonymity.

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GRHANITE™ is one of few systems to provide privacy-protecting record linkage

Australia has no unique identifier that can be used when linking data for research. Because of this, Australian researchers must use identifiers (name, date of birth, sex et-cetera) in any linkage project. The use of such identifiers has many ethical and legal challenges and in some sectors (for example General Practice and Health Departments) such linkages are rarely if ever permitted and are often refused on legal grounds.

Without exporting patient identifiers (name, date of birth, medicare ID, postcode et-cetera), GRHANITE™ is able to generate encrypted keys that can be used to record-link data between 2 or more independent databases.

The encryption used is non-reversible. Because of this, there is no way for the identity of an individual to be ascertained from the information used in the record linkage process.

Because no patient identifiers are involved, it is possible to record link data across jurisdictional boundaries within Australia including General Practice and Health Departments.

GHANITE™ Hashing for Record Linkage
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All communications are secured using GRHANITE™

GRHANITE™ uses the same industry and US federal-recommended public/private key encryption algorithms underpinning the banking and eCommerce sectors. This encryption ensures that any data in-transit is secure.

Sample GRHANITE-encrypted data as it leaves a health organisation
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GRHANITE™ has a data previewing facility

GRHANITE™ allows a data custodian to preview data that is due to be transmitted to researchers. This is often a vital part of the process of building trust.

Data Export Preview
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GRHANITE™ ensures data is routed appropriately where and when it is needed

To maintain privacy, it is vital to ensure a researcher is given only enough data to answer a particular research question. Different research projects are kept separate to avoid identity being inferred by the data.

GRHANITE™ sends data to different databases for every project and the recipient computer can be anywhere in the World.

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GRHANITE™ provides infrastructure tools to support projects over hundreds of participating sites

GRHANITE™ is designed to operate across multiple research projects covering as many as 1000 separate clinical sites. The system has sophisticated tools allowing technical support staff to identify and resolve problems within hours of them occurring.

The following are some of the features that allow such a large infrastructure:

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