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    New ONC Privacy Chief’s Rallying Cry

    Lucia Savage Calls for Clarifying EHR, HIE Privacy Explanations

    By , November 10, 2014.  from Gov Info Security

    The secure national exchange of patients’ health information for use in treatment will make progress once “we simplify what we say when we’re explaining privacy to people,” says Lucia Savage, new chief privacy officer at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

    Although the HITECH Act financial incentive program over the last five years has propelled tens of thousands of healthcare organizations into “the brave new world of electronic health records,” it’s still difficult for many providers and patients to understand the basics of how privacy will be protected as more information is electronically accessed and exchanged, Savage says in an interview with Information Security Media Group.

    . . . As funding for HITECH programs winds down, ONC’s 10-year vision is shifting to a focus on building secure nationwide health information exchange based on the interoperability of electronic health records.

    . . . In this interview, Savage also discusses:

    • The importance of encryption in safeguarding data;
    • What’s on her near-term agenda;
    • The mood at ONC, which has seen the recent departure of several senior officials, plus its leader, Karen DeSalvo, M.D., taking on additional duties, including Ebola response work, in her new position as HHS acting assistant secretary of health (see ONC’s DeSalvo Stays On: Questions Arise).
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