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    InformationWeek: Privacy, Accountability Lead Health IT Concerns

    InformationWeek reports on a new poll concerning health information technology (also known as digitalizing medical records) and possible privacy issues:

    In a survey that gauged the opinions of doctors and patients on how health IT should be used in a modern healthcare system, both groups agreed on key requirements related to information sharing, patient privacy, and ways health IT can improve the quality of care.

    The Markle Survey of Health in a Networked Life draws its findings from two surveys: one interviewed 1,582 members of the public, while the other surveyed 779 physicians.

    Conducted in August by Knowledge Networks on behalf of the Markle Foundation, the findings revealed that both groups want public investments in IT to come with accountability and privacy protections, and hope these investments lead to improvements in the way healthcare is delivered to patients. The key findings also showed that both doctors and patients want technology to play a greater role in healthcare. […]

    Other findings from the Markle survey include:

    — Majorities (70% of the public and 80% of doctors) support privacy-protection practices, such as letting people see who has accessed their records, notifying people affected by information breaches, and giving people mechanisms to exercise choice and correct information.

    — Most (65% of the public and 75% of doctors) agreed that it’s important to have a policy against the government collecting personally identifiable health information for health IT or healthcare quality-improvement programs.

    — If there are safeguards to protect identity, however, 68% of the public and 75% of the doctors expressed a willingness to allow composite information to be used to detect outbreaks, bioterrorist attacks, and fraud; conduct research; and implement quality- and service-improvement programs.

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