Blumenthal: Address interoperability, outdated privacy and security regulations

30 Apr 2015 11:37 AM | Brian Kelley (Administrator)

Retrieved from clinical-innovation.com  |  Beth WalshApr 29, 2015

Former National Coordinator for Health IT David Blumenthal, MD, penned a blog in the Wall Street Journal's  "The Experts " addressing the potential for health IT as well as challenges related to interoperability and outdated privacy and security regulations. 

Now president of The Commonwealth Fund, Blumenthal wrote about various scenarios in which health IT tools and mobile applications could help people track and monitor their healthcare by providing interactive, real-time information. But, those advancements can't happen unless electronic devices can communicate with each other. 

Many EHRs, mobile devices and personal sensors can't exchange information at this point for a variety of reasons but most importantly because "healthcare organizations are fearful of sharing patients' data since it will liberate their customers to go elsewhere for their care." And,  EHR vendors are "charging prohibitive fees and creating other barriers to information sharing" to make it more difficult for customers to "switch out one [EHR] for another," he wrote.

Blumenthal also wrote that the current privacy and securitiy regulations were conceived and implemented before the internet existed and therefore, "don't offer adequate protections for the 21st century. "If people can't trust the privacy and security of cloud-based health records, they won't feel comfortable using them."

The obstacles, "mostly human in the making, can be solved by humans if the will exists. If we find a way, the healthcare future will be far brighter for all of us." 


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