Privacy, Cost Concerns Shutter Data Exchange Program
The Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange in California recently has folded because of privacy concerns and questions about ongoing costs, according to exchange officials, Government Health IT reports. The data exchange, which began in 1998, was the longest-running effort to initiate a major U.S. regional health information organization.
The technological difficulties of securely sharing information and retaining local control of the data generally were solved.
The remaining concerns also involved the possible expense of building the filters needed to sort the sensitive information from the data stream before it was transmitted to other entities in the exchange, according to Robert Reid, former chair of the exchange and director of medical affairs for Cottage Health System.
The exchange was funded by a matching grant of about $500,000 that would have paid for the software vendor and executives needed to run it, but there were no other income sources other than the data providers, Reid said. The organizations involved did not see any value in maintaining the RHIO, he said.
The California HealthCare Foundation invested $10 million into the exchange as initial funding and said it is considering transforming its software into an open-source product for other RHIOs (Robinson, Government Health IT, 3/8).
The California HealthCare Foundation is the publisher of California Healthline.