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June 28, 2006

Compelled Disclosure of Health Information: Protecting Against the Greatest Potential Threat to Privacy

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy and Law, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Ky (Mr Rothstein and Ms Talbott).

JAMA. 2006;295(24):2882-2885. doi:10.1001/jama.295.24.2882

In 2004, President Bush called for widespread adoption of interconnected electronic health records (EHRs) within 10 years.1 The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been charged with leading these efforts, including developing the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN). Although the specifics of the NHIN and its component organizations are still being developed, it is envisioned as a public-private partnership of health information organizations using common electronic formats, thereby enabling ease of access to EHRs through any secure portal. The NHIN will link health records maintained in hospitals, physicians' offices, clinics, and other locations.