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Opt-in policy best for HIE patient privacy

July 06, 2012

Healthcare providers have yet to agree on the best way to protect the privacy of personal health information (PHI) in health information exchanges (HIEs), but John Halamka, MD, has an opinion. As CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston, Halamka recently announced in a blog post that BIDMC will have all of its 1,800 affiliated ambulatory care providers ask their patients to "opt in for data sharing among the clinicians coordinating their care." This would allow data exchange, not only within BIDMC, but also with outside clinicians who provide care for those patients. The patients who opt in now will still be able to opt out later.

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