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Texas Tribune interviewed Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, for a discussion of healthcare digital convergence (i.e. transition to electronic/digital healthcare records) and the potential impact on patient privacy. He’s thinking “most patients will see that there are a lot of advantages to getting their records into digital forms.” Of course we agree, and would like to hear more about patient access to this data. Nothing about that here, but regarding privacy protections, he says “It’s a collective responsibility. We, in the federal government, give our best judgment about what the preferred approach is to getting patient consent. I think we also need to enforce the existing laws that penalize people who don’t carefully guard patient information, and there are substantial penalties available.”


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