Tiger team to focus on privacy issues arising from authorized access to patient records

The Privacy and Security Tiger Team--which makes recommendations to the Health IT Policy Committee--laid out its 2014 agenda and named a new co-chair at its first meeting of the new year on Monday. The team's agenda will focus on, among other issues, the privacy of patients who grant other individuals access to their electronic health data, Healthcare Info Security reported.

In particular, the team will discuss such issues as they relate to the records of adult patients in Q1 of 2014. That focus won't shift to issues as they relate to minors until Q3 due to complexities involved in such situations, including parental consent.

Potential second-quarter discussions will center on the data practices of business associates, in particular, data intermediaries, according to Healthcare Info Security. Business associates, of course, now are liable for the protection of private patient information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

In Q4, the tiger team's agenda will focus on improving patient right of access in electronic environment; in particular, security policy issues surrounding patients extracting information from provider systems using tools like Blue Button Plus will be discussed. At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, Lygeia Ricciardi, director of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's Office of Consumer eHealth, told MobiHealthNews that ONC will be slowing down its rollout of the Blue Button Connector--a hub where patients will be able to find sources of health data and Blue Button Plus technology--to ensure the accuracy of all information on the site.

Micky Tripathi, CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, will co-chair the tiger team along with Deven McGraw, director of the health privacy project at the Center for Democracy and Technology. Tripathi has been instrumental in the launch of Massachusetts' statewide health information exchange.

To learn more:
- read the HealthcareInfoSecurity article
- here are the meeting materials
- check out the MobiHealthNews article