Maxwell Museum of Anthropology
Orthodontics Case File System

Biomedical Informatics

The most important aspect considered in the design of the database for this project was to insure that the confidentiality and privacy of the patients in this collection is always maintained. The portion of the collection that is available on the web is completely de-identified, i.e., we do not present any information that would allow anyone to be able to identify any of the patients from the collection. We do this by only allowing the presentation of X-ray and intra-oral images that have been carefully processed by Maxwell Museum personnel to remove any names or any other identifying information such as medical record or X-ray numbers from these images. In addition, no names, addresses, dates of birth are ever revealed on the web site. This information is stored on a HIPAA compatible, state of the art secured server that is managed by UNM IT professionals and is fortified with several layers of both physical and electronic security to prevent any external “attacks” or any unauthorized use of this information. Those with a serious research interest in how this database is design are encouraged to contact the HSLIC Director of Biomedical Informatics.

The de-identified portion of this collection was created with the help of the UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center. Specifically, the database design and coding of the individual elements of the database have been designed in such a way to facilitate the maximal use of this database for orthodontics treatment, research, and education. Where possible, individual data elements have been coded with National Library of Medicine recommended terminology. In addition, since many of the cephalometric parameters do not yet have standardized terms, the biomedical informatics group from HSLIC is working with national standards organizations (LOINC) to help create the terminology that is needed. Having the database indexed with standardized terminologies will make it possible to eventually link this database with other similar data from other research institutions around the country, in a manner that always protects the privacy of the individual patients involved.