Sharing of Health Information Progresses, but Privacy Lags

A year after a federal advisory committee recommended how health information could be shared, the country has moved a long way to harmonizing standards and relaxing regulations that barred hospitals from promoting health IT, but it still needs to implement measures to protect patients’ information.

In October 2005, a commission on systemic interoperability laid out a series of recommendations for connecting the fragmented systems that hold Americans’ health information.

For more on this topic, see Government Awards $18.6 Million to Share Health Information

On Oct. 31, 2006, Scott Wallace, head of the now-disbanded commission, said that the government had acted on eight of the 14 recommendations.

However, it has not yet adopted recommendations that would prevent patients’ from being discriminated against because of the release of the information, even if the release itself was illegal.

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