Health Information Management

Privacy, security concerns high in HIEs

HIM-HIPAA Insider, June 4, 2012

A Boston resident is at a New York Yankees game in the Bronx cheering on his beloved Boston Red Sox. ­Despite his best efforts to catch a foul ball coming into the stands, he misses, and the ball bounces off his head. He's woozy, and ballpark officials suggest he get to a hospital for precautionary reasons.

At the hospital, instead of filling out multiple forms, the attending physician logs on to a computer in the patient's room and pulls up his medical record and complete history in seconds. That's because the fan's hospital in Massachusetts and the New York facility participate in an interoperable health information exchange (HIE).

HIE advocates use a scenario like this to promote hospitals joining an exchange program, which is defined as the mobilization of healthcare information electronically across organizations within a region, community, or hospital system. But HIE programs do not come concern-free. For HIM professionals whose hospitals have signed on to parti­cipate in such a program and for those that are considering it, they must do some due diligence

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to read more in the June issue of Medical Records Briefings.

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