ONC Offers Privacy, Security Guide

Online Resource Features Insights on EHRs, Risk Analysis
ONC Offers Privacy, Security Guide

The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has published an in-depth guide to keeping health information private and secure.

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The guide is designed to help healthcare organizations, especially smaller ones, better understand the role privacy and security play in the use of electronic health records as they participate in the HITECH Act EHR incentive program. "We issued the guide to provide organizations with a useful tool to help them integrate privacy and security into their organizations as they achieve [EHR] meaningful use," says Joy Pritts, ONC's chief privacy officer.

The guide includes:

  • Guidance on privacy and security issues as they pertain to the HITECH Act electronic health record incentive program;
  • A privacy and security 10-step plan;
  • Security risk analysis and management tips;
  • Advice on working with IT vendors;
  • A list of health IT privacy and security resources.

ONC developed the guide in collaboration with the American Health Information Management Association Foundation.

More Online Information

ONC also has enhanced its Health IT Dashboard, which provides links to information on the office's grant programs, its regional extension centers and its educational initiatives through community colleges.

Meanwhile, HHS' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is posting more detailed information about the HITECH Act EHR incentive program, including a list of hospitals and physicians that have received incentive payments so far. The provider list links are at the very bottom of a page within the CMS website. The information will be updated quarterly.

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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