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Paving the Road to the ‘Learning Health Care System’

Last week, I participated on a panel as part of the 2012 Stanford Law Review Symposium, The Privacy Paradox: Privacy and its Conflicting Values. The symposium was co-hosted by the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Kudos to the Stanford Law Review for including a panel on health privacy along with panels on uses of drones for surveillance; big data, politics and privacy; and privacy and conflicts with First Amendment and tort law.

Participants on the panel were invited to submit essays for publication in the symposium edition of the Stanford Law Review Online. CDT’s essay explores the way the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule discourages health care providers from sharing the results of analyses conducted on electronic medical record data for quality improvement purposes. CDT recommends that such uses of electronic health information be governed by consistent policies based on fair information practices, even in circumstances where the aggregate results are intended to be shared to benefit the health care system. The essay, Paving the Regulatory Road to the “Learning Health Care System,” builds on work led by CDT in its role as chair of the federal Health IT Policy Committee’s Privacy and Security Tiger Team.