Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Ying and Yang of Health Privacy

Christina's Considerations posts a quote by Dr. William Yasnoff from a recent New York Times article, Warnings Over Privacy of U.S. Health Network. The quote caught my eye because it highlights what I'll refer to as the ying and yang involved in the conversion to a more comprehensive interoperable health information system and how you and I as patients may react.

The quote reads:
"Anything you do to make information more accessible for good, laudable purposes will simultaneously make it more accessible for evil nefarious purposes. People intuitively understand that, and they are worried."
Those of us working on health privacy and e-health issues should regularly consider and reassess this principal as we move forward to transform the way health information is collected, stored, used, disclosed and aggregated. Over the years to come health lawyers will play an increasingly important role in the process of addressing legal issues that arise from the concept highlighted by the quote.

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