Will privacy keep Health 2.0 from the starting gate?

Business journalist Dana Blankenhorn writes on ZDNet: Just two weeks ago the World Privacy Forum, ironically also based in San Diego, came out with two warnings about Personal Health Records (PHRs) which made them appear to be a tragedy waiting to happen. PHRs, once placed online, are not covered by HIPAA, the forum...

In the UK, two more stolen hospital laptops cause worry

Although I do not include them in the chronologies of medical privacy breaches available on this site, I do note medical privacy breaches in other countries. Two more reports out of the U.K. this morning are noteworthy. The first involves the Telford & Wrekin Primary Care Trust: A laptop with confidential information about more...

Virginia: Mental health bills head to Kaine

Mason Adams and Michael Sluss write in The Roanoke Times: The General Assembly voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a package of bills intended to reform Virginia’s mental health system and fill long-neglected gaps exposed by April’s shootings at Virginia Tech. The legislation would ease Virginia’s standard for involuntary commitment and improve monitoring of...

Illinois: Repeal of act requiring students to report their HIV status defeated

Meagan Sexton writes: The Illinois House on Tuesday rejected legislation that would repeal the state’s Communicable Disease Prevention Act, which requires students to report their HIV status to principals. The legislation attracted 43 “yes” votes and 62 “no” votes. House Bill 4314 was an attempt to repeal the existing law that permits a school...

Minnesota: Legislation would open up adoption records

People who were adopted would have access to their original birth certificate under a bill that’s been introduced to the Minnesota legislature. The access would allow people who were adopted to find out the names of their birth parents. The bill is facing opposition by some adoption agencies, because some birth parents may not...

Health records shared online pose dilemma

Keith Darcé writes in the Union-Tribune: After being diagnosed with Lyme disease, former Amazon.com senior executive Keith Schorsch wanted to find others dealing with the illness, and he thought the Internet could help him make those connections. The experience led to the recent launch of Trusera, a Web site that lets people record and...

Medical groups launch e-prescribing Web site

Five doctors organizations have launched a Web site and campaign designed to persuade physicians to switch from paper-based prescriptions of medications to electronic prescribing. The Get Connected campaign, along with the GetRxConnected.com Web site, are focused on helping doctors move from prescriptions written on paper pads or entered into a computer and faxed to...

Online Medical Records and Security

Since we’re all so excited at the prospect of putting medical records online, can we talk, for a moment, about security? A techie friend of mine told me recently about a nefarious site that somehow manages to mimic whatever site you think you’re going to — a shadow jcrew.com, for example, or a shadow...

Health Information Technology Executives Overwhelmingly Believe the Industry Needs to Work Together on Information Security

A new survey shows that 96 percent of health information technology (HIT)  executives think it is important to have a uniform way for verifying the security of sensitive healthcare information, and 85 percent think it is time for the industry to come together and develop a comprehensive framework that can provide that uniformity. The...

Strengthen medical privacy laws (commentary)

… No wonder the public does not entirely trust the privacy and security of their medical information. The Markle Foundation reports that a large majority of Americans are very concerned their health information is not adequately protected by federal law. People admit they have lied or skipped recommended testing to avoid having information in...