NU Online News Service, Oct. 9, 10:11 a.m. – HealthKey, a Seattle-based eHealth initiative funded in part by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, N.J., released the results of its eHealth security projects documenting two years of work in five states.
The national HealthKey Program, which focuses on privacy and security standards, is a consortium of five states working to test real-world solutions for privacy and security in the healthcare market, and testing and deploying various security infrastructure initiatives across the five states.
HealthKey’s “Summary Report to the Community” finds that collaboration among information technology opinion leaders, competing healthcare vendors and government policymakers is the determining factor for the successful implementation of standardized security and privacy protections such as those required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
“The secure transmission of personal health data is critical to the improvement of healthcare in this nation,” says Laura Ripp, Healthkey program director.
In describing one of HealthKey’s pilot programs, Ripp said, “Collaboration among the government, IT vendors, healthcare providers, and health plans reduced the average time it took to report an infectious outbreak to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from over six weeks to a matter of days — replacing the old system of faxing information with a standardized and secure e-mail solution.