Senators call for stronger health data protections, penalties; HITECH's promise of data security not yet realized;

> Just days after UCLA Health System notified more than 16,000 patients that an external hard drive containing their personal information went missing, Congress gathered to question how electronic health data can be better protected. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, held a hearing last week at which attendees called for stricter penalties of health data breaches and stronger enforcement of protections. FierceHealthcare

> Statewide health information exchanges in both Alabama and West Virginia recently opted to use Thomson Reuters' HIE Advantage as their technology platforms, Health Data Management reports. Brief

> The HITECH Act (.pdf) was intended to enable electronic health record innovation and adoption by plugging the data privacy holes left by the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. But according to testimony during a Nov. 9 Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, very few requirements have been implemented since the HITECH Act became law as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009. FierceGovernmentIT

> Alarm hazards, radiation exposure and medication errors while using infusion pumps are among the top 10 health technology hazards to be mindful of heading into 2012, according to a new report from the ECRI Institute. Report (.pdf)

And Finally... An easier solution would have been to ask for more. Article

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