GovernmentCIO: NCI, VA on Protecting Patient Privacy and Secure Data Sharing

“Federal agencies are collecting massive amounts of health data from patient electronic health records and clinical research trials for new insights, treatments and discoveries. The main challenge, however, is ensuring the data is securely managed and maintaining balanced patient privacy with the benefits of potential data sharing, as federal health agency leaders discussed at the State of Cyber CXO Tech Forum July 18.”

“Jeff Shilling, chief information officer for the National Cancer Institute, explained how the research agency protects individuals’ privacy in accordance to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) guidelines, though separate from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program…”

“Shilling noted that before medical records were electronic, cancer reports were mainly paper-based, and it was difficult to facilitate further contact with those individuals…”

“Similarly, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been transitioning from its paper-based legacy systems to Cerner’s Millennium electronic health record system for increased data security and interoperability with the Defense Department. According to VA CISO Paul Cunningham, this gives the VA the chance to rebuild from the ground-up, allowing them to prioritize the system’s security framework and create a health record process that happens ‘automagically’ for veterans…”

“The two agencies also encourage open-data sharing through their participation and support of large cohort, research studies.” Read the full article here.

Source: NCI, VA on Protecting Patient Privacy and Secure Data Sharing – By Faith Ryan, July 19, 2019. GovernmentCIO.

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