How to tackle privacy, security challenges of a national HIE

Computers connecting

Photo credit: Getty/TCmake_photo

Creating a national health information exchange will require building a workable framework for privacy and security, then training those who work with the data in a way similar to that of a multinational corporation that deals with sensitive information, Valita Fredland, the new privacy officer of the Indiana Health Information Exchange, says in an interview.

One of the biggest challenges for organizations using big data to build profiles and predictive models is ensuring they understand the regulations and restrictions on each of the data elements, she tells

Digital Transformation

Unlock the Digital Front Door with an App

The Member Mobile App is the smarter and better way to engage members anytime and anywhere. Members can find the right doctors, receive alerts, track spending, use telehealth, and more — all within a guided, intuitive, and seamless experience. Built exclusively for payers, it is ready to install and launch in a few months. Request a consult on how to enable the digital front door with the Mobile App, today.

The patchwork of state and federal laws, as well as restrictions on sharing different types of data, such as teens’ information, mental health and substance abuse data, can seem to prohibit efficient data-exchange, she notes.

However, Fredland says she's "of the belief that this is not a major stumbling block. I believe these are challenges we can certainly solve from a privacy and security perspective. I know technologically we are able to exchange the data, so I think it's a matter of time before we can sit down and create an interoperability framework for multiple types of health information data repositories."

She adds it’s also important to remember that some organizations use third-party data hosting providers that use international data centers, so the data also might fall under other jurisdictions. The European Union, for instance, has just enacted new privacy protections for data hosted there.

“It's important for privacy and security professionals ... to at least be aware that data, whether used only stateside, or internationally, may fall under the jurisdictions of other international locations as it travels," she says.

Creating information highways that connect across state lines has been one of the priorities of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT this year, which is focused on ensuring health information exchanges, as well as private-sector exchanges, are interoperable across the country within a year.

To learn more:
- listen to the interview

Suggested Articles

There is a potential legal skirmish brewing two of the largest telehealth companies over patent claims.

Buoyed by strong demand for its stock, GoodRx raised $1.1 billion in its IPO after pricing its deal well above its expected price range.

Microsoft's new healthcare cloud service will be generally available October 30 as the tech giant battles Google and Amazon in the cloud market.