Trustworthy NHIN: Privacy Commentary

Trustworthy Designs for the Nationwide Health Information Network:

Privacy Commentary

by Latanya Sweeney

Beyond igniting adoption of electronic medical records, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 also aims to build a privacy-preserving Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) by 2015 and provides an abundance of funds, political will and policy attention to get it done. An optimal NHIN maximizes data sharing while providing guarantees of privacy protection. So, it is surprising that the recently released list of requirements from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid includes no privacy incentives and the current NHIN approaches from the Office of the National Coordinator make it unlikely Americans will have privacy or utility.

Sweeney, L. "Privacy Issues Overlooked". Modern Healthcare, September 9, 2010.
Earlier version: Will current plans for the Nationwide Health Information Network undermine patient privacy and trust? Harvard University. AdvanceHIT Project. White Paper 1003. Cambridge: March 2010. (

Series: AdvanceHIT Trustworthy Designs for the Nationwide Health Information Network.

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