Individual patient information submitted to the department under the provisions of this article shall not be public information. Reports and studies prepared and released by the department based upon such data shall be public information. Reports and studies prepared by the department shall be statistically risk adjusted using a generally accepted formula for such adjustments to account for variations in patient morbidity and diagnoses. The department shall not release any information obtained from the data in a form which could be used to identify a patient. The department may authorize the use of the data redacted to prevent the release of confidential patient information by legitimate research organizations, so long as patient confidentiality is maintained.