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Does anyone else remember those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials from the 1980s? “Your peanut butter is in my chocolate!” “Your chocolate is in my peanut butter!” I knew I was getting older when I referred to a partnership as a “two great tastes that taste great together” event and my younger colleague had no idea what I was talking about.

Well, here’s my latest example of such a partnership — two great people, one great concept: Patient Centered Health Information Technology.

Ted Eytan, on sabbatical from GroupHealth, and Josh Seidman, of the Center for Information Therapy, are working together to “improve adoption of health information technology tools to better engage patients and families in their own care.”

Privacy is one of the issues I’m hoping to learn more about as the initiative develops. The Pew Internet Project’s next report, due out in early December, will take a look at people’s “attitudes and actions” regarding personal information and privacy online (building on what we learned about people’s “attitudes, actions, and assets” regarding communications technology). I have discussed the findings with a few privacy experts AND with some cancer patients. I’m observing major gulfs between the general population (most of whom default to “ignorance is bliss”), privacy experts (who warn of the implications of personal exposure online), and patients (many of whom are quite willing to share their personal stories online in the hopes of getting advice and giving help to others). I would be very interested to hear what people think about privacy in the era of e-patients and health IT.


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