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IDG Contributor Network: Physicians and social media – where there’s no second opinion

Discussion in 'CSO' started by RSS, Dec 14, 2015.

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    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was meant in part to help maintain the privacy and security of medical records that contain Protected Health Information (PHI). HIPAA grew out of the understanding being that when large amounts of PHI move into electronic formats, the risks of large-scale data breaches increase significantly.

    An issue with HIPAA is that it was so broadly written, and often narrowly interpreted. With that, its implementation has led to many cases of unintended consequences.

    One example is the ubiquitous patient status board. These boards have long played an important role in coordinating and communicating about patient care in hospitals. In busy wards, the status board often serves as the central access point for operational and patient-related information. Status boards have transitioned from dry-erase whiteboards to real-time electronic boards. Irrespective of the type of board, HIPAA mandates that the information on the board, which long included the patients' names and other medical data, can no longer include that in the public view.

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