Health Information Technology
Although secondary use of personal health data is becoming widespread across the nation, providers, physicians and patients generally are not aware that the data are being shared, according to a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
The paper states that some uses of personal health data are not regulated or subject to public oversight and that some data are sold commercially. In addition, continued evolvement of electronic health records constantly is changing how the data are collected and shared.
According to researchers, secondary use of personal health data is important to advance public benefits from collecting such information. The authors suggest several focus areas to improve secondary use of personal health data, including:
- Creating a national framework of policies for use;
- Initiating public awareness campaigns;
- Gaining support of national leadership; and
- Improved privacy and security policies (Safran et al., Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, January/February).