SPOTLIGHT: Managing health data during lawsuits

With recent changes to federal rules governing civil suits, health IT pros may need to change how they manage, retain and disclose health information. Prior to beginning the process of disclosing health information to opposing parties in a lawsuit, health IT execs must meet with attorneys and senior managers to decide in advance how they'll handle information requests. If they plan to assert protections for privileged health data categories such as HIV and mental health, they must do so in advance. If data is costly to obtain, they'll need to be able to prove that to the court. IT professionals must also be sure that relevant data isn't destroyed, particularly if the court orders it preserved, so special plans may be required to assure data preservation. While developing policies and procedures in this area may be complex, you must make sure your organization doesn't appear to be obstructing the legal process. Article