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March 22/29, 2000

Privacy of Electronic Medical Information—Reply

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(12):1564-1565. doi:10.1001/jama.283.12.1563

In Reply: We recognize that the law is merely one means through which the privacy of personally identifiable health information about individuals may be improved in an electronic national health information infrastructure. While many view technology and the increasing computerization of health records as a major threat to privacy,1 we agree that technology is also useful in protecting privacy and security through encryption and other mechanisms. Uniform application of effective technological tools (which are still under development in the public and private sectors) may significantly improve individual privacy.