ONC releases HI privacy and security guide

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's (ONC) Office of the Chief Privacy Officer has published a 47-page "Guide to Privacy and Security of Health Information," offering detailed guidance for security risk analyses and management. The guide was developed in partnership with the American Health Information Management Association Foundation.

The guide also offers a 10-step plan for reinforcing privacy and security efforts before attesting for meaningful use. The steps include confirmation of the organization as a covered entity, prevention through education and training and updating business associate agreements.

Privacy and security concerns have become an increasing problem according to reports of data breaches and industry surveys. For example, last year's "HIMSS Analytics Report: Security of Patient Data," found that 27 percent of respondents reported a security breach in the past year and more than two-thirds (69 percent) of those experienced more than one breach in the past 12 months.

For many of those organizations, this new ONC guide could not have come at a better time. Access the entire privacy and security guide at the ONC's website.