N.Y. Forms Health Data Exchange Policy Panel After Recent Criticism


In response to the New York Civil Liberties Union's recent report criticizing the privacy and security policies governing the state's health information exchanges, New York state health officials have formed a committee to develop and update its information exchange policies, InformationWeek reports.

The Statewide Health Information Network of New York Policy Committee was created by the New York State Department of Health and the New York eHealth Collaborative (Lewis, InformationWeek, 4/5).

Background on NYCLU Report

The NYCLU report -- released last month -- argued that while there are benefits to sharing electronic health records, patients should have greater control over the dissemination of their own records.

The report criticized the state's policy to allow health care providers to upload patient data into regional databases without patients' consent, as well as its "all-or-nothing" approach, which does not allow patients to choose which parts of their health records physicians can access (iHealthBeat, 3/9).

Details of the New Committee

The new 17-member committee is tasked with establishing and updating policies aimed at protecting patients' personal health data.

The committee also will work to develop policies that expand interoperability to increase the sharing of EHRs between health care providers, patients and other health-related organizations in the state, according to an NYeC release.

Corinne Carey -- a committee member and the assistant legislative director at NYCLU -- said she would like the committee to "ask the state to conduct a thorough review of the policies and procedures governing health information exchange to determine if they are consistent with New York state law, in particular section 18 of the public health law which requires affirmative patient consent before any medical information is shared with a third party" (InformationWeek, 4/5).

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