What is the difference between a complete waiver and a partial waiver?

A complete HIPAA waiver allows an investigator to use and disclose PHI for a particular research trial or activity without obtaining either a verbal or written authorization from the participants. A partial HIPAA waiver allows an investigator to obtain, use, and/or disclose PHI for one specified portion of a research trial or activity (e.g., in the course of recruitment) without first obtaining a verbal or written authorization.