Public must defend privacy when it comes to health records

With a stroke of his pen, Gov. Ed Rendell created the Pennsylvania Health Information Exchange Governance Structure, which establishes the framework necessary to usher in widespread use of Electronic Health Records and to promote the interoperability between networks to facilitate easy access of those records.

Undoubtedly, the governor expects EHRs will be used to facilitate medical treatment, not aggressive marketing or decision-making for granting credit or employment or just plain nosiness.

Indeed, Executive Order 2008-3 states that “the privacy and security of all Pennsylvanians’ health information is of paramount importance.’’

Patient Privacy Rights agrees wholeheartedly with the use of EHRs and interoperability between electronic health information networks to facilitate medical treatment. Where we have concern is whether privacy will be properly protected under PHIX.

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