The 19th Congress of IFHIMA, the International Federation of Health Information Management Associations, will feature the release of IFHIMA’s latest whitepaper, “Privacy of Health Information, an IFHIMA Global Perspective.” I’m honoured to be the Chair of the Working Group and one of the authors. After months of work from dedicated HIM professionals and IFHIMA volunteers, I’m tickled pink to be able to share this with you.
Privacy of Health Information, an IFHIMA Global Perspective whitepaper provides a synopsis of current trends in privacy in healthcare around the globe, discusses the role of HIM professionals in privacy, and offers more detailed perspectives through case studies from Australia, the European Union, India, Qatar, the Republic of Korea (South Korea), and the USA.
Health Information Management (HIM) professionals have transitioned from their traditional role of health records custodian to data stewards and information privacy advocates and have an opportunity to take a leadership role with regard to the privacy of health information.
This privacy paper includes discussion on
- Global privacy trends
- What is personal information?
- Privacy and trust
- Challenges in maintaining trust when technology moves faster than regulations
- Privacy stewardship foundations, including the role of the privacy/compliance officer
- Avoiding risks, harm, and breaches
- The complexity of breach notifications
- How technology impacts privacy
After a thorough discussion, the paper also suggests several actionable steps that anyone can implement and discuss with their teams. Privacy is a team effort, but it requires a strong, trusted leader who can be the voice of clarity and transparency for patients, consumers, and regulators — all while building consensus.
These steps include:
- Get involved as privacy regulations are developed
- Assess what the regulations may mean to your organization
- Communicate your insight to the team, leadership, and regulatory bodies
- Identify required changes to systems, processes, and technologies
- Train your teams, admins, and patients about their privacy rights and responsibilities
- Commit to ongoing professional growth to stay abreast of the changing landscape
Privacy regulations that bring together emerging technology, healthcare processes and individual rights should take a pragmatic approach with consideration to future health information technology solutions such as telemedicine, Internet of Things and big data.
6 Case Studies
The whitepaper includes observations and commentary about the status of privacy projects around the world, including the following case studies
- My Health Record – The Australian Experience
- General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union Reaches Far Beyond Europe
- Health Care Privacy: An Indian Scenario
- Developing a Global Standard for Health Information Privacy Workforce Education – A Republic of Korea (South Korea) Case Study
- Health Information Exchange Implementation – Qatar, HIE Consent Model for Privacy Concerns – Privacy Regulatory Framework
- Laying the Foundation for Privacy Practice and Compliance in the Outpatient Setting: Policies and Procedures. Download the Privacy of Health Information
This whitepaper will aid anyone tasked with planning for increased data sharing while trying to manage healthcare privacy. Ministers or Department of Health staff, privacy and data governance consultants, vendors, and health systems should find it especially helpful. Whether you are from a nation crafting its initial privacy regulations, or a nation revising insufficient policies, the information is relevant and enlightening.
I’d like to express my appreciation for the hundreds of hours of work contributed by this exemplary group of volunteers, including
Mujeeb C. Kandy
Ok Nam Kim
Dr. Sabu Karakka Mandapam
Veronica Miller Richards
Dorinda M. Sattler
Dr. Rajesh Kumar Sinha