Stoto, M.A. Public Health Surveillance in the Twenty-First Century: Achieving Population Health Goals While Protecting Individualsâ€™ Privacy and Confidentiality. Georgetown Law Journal, 2008, 96:2, 703-719.
Surveillance, a core function of public health, is defined as â€œongoing, systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of health data essential to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice, closely integrated with the timely dissemination of these data to those who need to know.â€1 In the context of a session that addresses how data and information can and should inform public health policy and practice, this discussion of surveillance calls attention to the disclosure and use of personal health information. In particular, public health surveillance programs require a careful balance between the development of statistical and epidemiological data and knowledge that are essential to achieving population health goals and the protection of individualsâ€™ privacy and confidentiality rights.
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