The Privacy and Security Tiger Team of the HIT Policy Committee has expanded its recommendations to David Blumenthal, M.D., the national coordinator for health information technology.

The Tiger Team on Aug. 19 submitted three relevant core values governing privacy and a series of related recommendations to meet the values. The values are:

* Patients should not be surprised to learn what happens to their health information.

* The provider-patient relationship is the foundation for trust in health information exchange.

* Providers are responsible for ensuring the privacy and security of patient information but may delegate functions to business associates if done in a trustworthy manner.

Now, the team has added a fourth core value: Transparency about information exchange practices is a necessary component of establishing credibility with patients.

The team also has adopted a number of additional recommendations:

* Providers are responsible for being open and transparent with their patients about how their data is exchanged.

* With respect to the HIPAA privacy notice, patients should be given a short summary with a more detailed notice readily available, written in plain English and covering current and anticipated information exchange activities, and identifying other entities with access to patients' data.

* Indirect exchanges through business associates should be easily distinguishable in the notice and understandable.

* The Office of the National Coordinator should require federally funded health information exchanges and regional extension centers to develop and implement public education plans regarding their information sharing policies and practices.

For more information, click here.

--Joseph Goedert


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