Consumer Survey on Privacy Slated

HHS to measure attitudes on HIEs, security issues
Consumer Survey on Privacy Slated
A federal agency will survey U.S. consumers on their attitudes toward electronic health information exchange and related privacy and security issues.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology within the Department of Health and Human Services announced in the Federal Register March 19 that it plans to field the survey in hopes of getting more than 2,500 responses.

In announcing the survey, ONC acknowledges that the creation of health information exchanges, funded in part by a new round of HITECH Act grants, "poses new challenges and opportunities for protecting health information."

In addition to promoting use of electronic health records, the HITECH Act encourages the exchange of the records among hospitals, clinics and others at the local, regional, state and national levels.

ONC also states in the announcement, "Little is known about individuals' attitudes toward electronic health information exchange and the extent to which they are interested in determining by whom and how their health information is exchanged."

The timing of the eight-week survey was not revealed in the notice. ONC plans to use the results to help guide its suggestions for policies and strategies as it champions efforts to build HIEs.

Results will be posted at ONC's Web site.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

Former News Editor, ISMG

Anderson was news editor of Information Security Media Group and founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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