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Report: States Making Progress in Protecting E-Health Data

February 14, 2008
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Most states surveyed have made “substantial” progress in defining their privacy and security approaches for electronic health information exchange, according to a report released by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), both part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Impact Analysis Report provides an assessment of the progress made by states since the inception of the project by comparing the current landscape for privacy and security to the baseline as reported by the state teams in early 2006. The report discusses the impact of work among and between participants in five key areas: legislation, executive orders, leadership and governance, stakeholder education and knowledge, and development of health information exchange networks.

According to the report, progress made during the past two years includes:

· 23 states cite increased awareness of privacy and security issues among stakeholders as a key component of success in the development and sustainability of statewide HIE plans;

· 14 states indicated the Privacy and Security Solutions Project has served to increase support for planned HIEs;

· 11 states reported legislative activities aimed at updating and aligning privacy and security statutes to prepare for electronic HIE, with four states having already passed some legislation; and

· Seven collaborative work groups involving 43 states and 2 territories are now focused on implementing shared privacy and security solutions.

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