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Why is de-identification performed?

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There are several reasons why an entity might want to de-identify certain PHI. Once data elements have been de-identified, the elements are no longer considered PHI, and can therefore be used for uses that are becoming increasingly popular. These uses include certain types of research, as well as comparative studies. Once data has been de-identified, the data is no longer considered PHI, and can, therefore, be used in many other situations. For example, certain types of research or comparative studies could benefit from medical information. Also, de-identified information can be shared, allowing providers to collaborate in research efforts.