Kaiser Permanente Research Bank Aims to Improve Health and Care Delivery While Keeping Volunteer Information Secure

The Kaiser Permanente Research Bank may be the key to understanding the causes and cures for diseases like cancer, asthma, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Designed to help us better understand how people’s health is affected by their genes, health behaviors and the environment, the Kaiser Permanente Research Bank enables researchers to use DNA and other health information to study how genetic and environmental factors affect health, and look for new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent certain diseases.

Any Kaiser Permanente member who is at least 18 years old and lives in the U.S. is eligible to participate and share their health information with the Kaiser Permanente Research Bank.

The KP Research Bank program offers many resources to KP members who are thinking about volunteering—including a website with explanatory videos (kp.org/researchbank), and a dedicated call center for members who have questions (1-844-268-2947).

With this information, a person can make an informed decision about if they want to participate. This process is called “informed consent” and is required for most types of research.

Information Security

Personal health information and data are stored on servers and computers that are protected through electronic security. All personal information is removed from volunteer samples, which are kept in locked storage areas and buildings.

Ethics and Privacy

The Research Bank works closely with an Institutional Review Board, which is comprised of care providers, researchers and community members. This group reviews all research studies before they start to be sure that participants’ rights, safety, privacy, and dignity are protected – and to verify all ethical principles are met.

The Kaiser Permanente Research Bank also has three Advisory Boards that offer guidance. The Community Advisory Board, the Scientific Advisory Board, and the Bioethics Advisory Board include scientific and ethics experts – as well as community leaders and KP members – who provide important perspectives on research strategy, recruitment, ethics, privacy and security.

To find out more information about the KP Research Bank, visit https://researchbank.kaiserpermanente.org/.