National Academies Report Calls for New Approach to Medical Privacy

As the Congress considers establishing a national network for electronic health records, a report from the Institute of Medicine recommends a new approach to medical record privacy. "Beyond the HIPAA Privacy Rule: Enhancing Privacy, Improving Health Through Research" finds that the current medical privacy regulations do not protect privacy and unnecessarily impede health research. The expert panel recommends revising research guidance, enhancing security for personally identifiable information, establishing trusted third parties for clearly defined research purposes, and developing new techniques that enable deidentification. The report also said it was vital to "Apply privacy, security, transparency, and accountability obligations to all health records used in research." EPIC Director Marc Rotenberg participated in the study project. More information, see EPIC Medical Privacy page.

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