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Illinois Information Trust Institute leads HHS program on Health Information Privacy and Security
Date:4/5/2010

The U.S. health care community has increasingly been adopting the use of electronic medical records and other electronic health information systems, but serious concerns about the security and privacy of those systems have been raised. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has just announced an award of $15 million in research funding to help put those concerns to rest. The Information Trust Institute (ITI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is set to lead a multi-university consortium of researchers who intend to make the technologies involved in electronic health records, health information exchange, and telemedicine trustworthy enough to earn the confidence of doctors and patients. The ultimate goal of the project is to improve patient outcomes while limiting inappropriate access.

The research award, titled "Strategic Healthcare Information Technology Advanced Research Projects on Security (SHARPS)," will result in the creation of the SHARPS Center for Health Information Privacy and Security within ITI, and will support research led by 20 senior researchers at the University of Illinois, the University of California at Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon University, Dartmouth College, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins University, New York University, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Stanford University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the University of Washington, and Vanderbilt University.

The SHARPS program's lead investigator, Professor Carl A. Gunter of the Department of Computer Science and ITI at Illinois, explained the program's motivation: "It is essential for patients and healthcare providers to have confidence in the information technologies on which modern healthcare is becoming increasingly reliant. SHARPS will address a key range of security and privacy barriers that currently limit the free exchange of data that can improve the quality, convenience, and efficient delivery of care. To accomplish this,
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Contact: Carl A. Gunter
cgunter@illinois.edu
217-244-1982
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

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