Public Service Message

Better Information Means Better Care: Health Information Technology

New York Health Information Security and Privacy Collaborative

Phase I

The New York Health Information Security and Privacy Collaborative (NYHISPC) is facilitating a statewide dialogue about how to protect privacy and strengthen security of patients' health information in an electronic and interconnected health care delivery system. The NYHISPC is one of thirty-three (33) state collaborations and the territory of Puerto Rico participating as subcontractors in the Federal government-sponsored Health Information Security and Privacy Collaborative (HISPC). The NYHISPC is bringing together a broad range of stakeholders to develop consensus-based solutions that support the privacy of patients while enabling the secure exchange of electronic health care information. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), contracted with Research Triangle Institute (RTI) to manage HISPC in cooperation with the National Governors Association. The Department of Health has partnered with various subcontractors to accomplish the goals and deliverables of the NYHISPC.

The NYHISPC is guided by a Steering Committee comprised of diverse health care business executives, consumer advocates, clinicians and statewide health information technology and privacy leaders, and a Legal Committee comprised of public and private sector attorneys specializing in health care privacy and security law. These committees have worked together and with stakeholder workgroups across the State to define current health information exchange challenges and develop and build consensus around the action steps for New York State.

Phase II

In order to ensure that patients are able to make meaningful consent decisions about the disclosure of their personal health care information in a health information exchange environment, the New York Health Information Security and Privacy Collaborative (NYHISPC) analyzed and recommended a patient consent solution and implementation plan. This includes patient engagement activities for Phase II of the contract period with the Research Triangle Institute (RTI).

To assess, analyze and recommend a consent model and develop consensus for a legislative and educational agenda, NYHISPC is utilizing the following stages:

  • Stage I: Assessment and Consensus Building
  • Stage II: Recommendation and Legislative Proposal for consideration by DOH
  • Stage III: Standardized Consent Form and Educational Plan

As discussed in the NYHISPC Final Assessment of Variation and Analysis of Solutions and Implementation Plan reports, emerging Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) initiatives, which are fostering interoperable Health Information Exchange (HIE) across the State were struggling to define what constitutes adequate and meaningful patient consent. There was an urgent need for guidance, as RHIOs and other HIE projects in New York were faced with creating the policies that will govern the consent within their projects.

The New York eHealth Collaborative, in partnership with NYS DOH, is overseeing the Statewide Collaboration Process (SCP) as part of the HEAL grant program, through which common policies, standards, and technical approaches for New York's health information infrastructure are being developed. As part of the SCP, the Privacy and Security workgroup is charged with the development of statewide policy guidance to protect privacy, strengthen security, ensure affirmative and informed consent, and support the right of New Yorkers to have greater control over and access to their personal health information as foundational requirements for interoperable health information exchange.

The Privacy and Security workgroup will also continue the work of the Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration (HISPC), a national initiative that was funded by the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. HISPC was designed to examine how privacy and security laws impact business practices related to electronic health information exchange.

Phase III

As HISPC II concluded in 2007, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) invited proposals from the newly formed Multi-State Strategy Collaboratives (HISPC Phase III) to develop solutions during 2008 for critical, priority next step health IT issues that will inform and support interstate exchange of electronic health information. New York State is participating in the two Multi-State Collaboratives that follow.

More Information