A 21st-Century Approach to Privacy

September 1, 2008 | Brief
Markle Connecting for Health
Markle

This policy brief outlines how to protect and share health information to improve health and health care.


We need a 21st century privacy approach allowing Americans to protect and share health information to improve quality. Americans are eager to see the cost and quality improvements that will result from health information technology (health IT).

Improving health care quality is dependent on health IT to enable information sharing.  Information must be sharedto improve continuity of care, enable robust decision support tools for providers and patients, and support e-prescribing systems that alert physicians to harmful drug interactions. We urgently want and need these developments and they are within our reach.

Privacy is a Critical Enabler of Information Sharing and Health IT Adoption

It is clear that Americans are eager to reap the benefits of health IT if appropriate safeguards are in place to protect their personal information. We need to earn and keep the public’s trust that personal health information will be protected as it is shared.

Our approach to privacy must reflect the evolving market and health care environment.

We need a 21st century privacy approach that establishes common information policy expectations. The expectations apply broadly to the myriad of health IT efforts from e-prescribing to health information exchange (HIE) and drug safety reporting and to the many and evolving entities sharing health information.

The Connecting for Health Common Framework Provides a 21st Century Privacy Approach

Since 2002, the Markle-led Connecting for Health collaborative has brought together key organizations from all sectors to develop a common approach to information policies.

Our Common Framework articulates clear national expectations for health IT in three areas, summarized in this brief:

  1. Core privacy principles
  2. Sound network design
  3. Oversight and accountability

Core Privacy Principles


  • Openness and Transparency
  • Purpose Specification
  • Collection Limitation and Minimization
  • Use Limitation
  • Individual Participation and Control
  • Data Integrity and Quality
  • Security Safeguards and Controls
  • Accountability and Oversight
  • Remedies

Categories and Tags

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Categories: Common Framework, Health in a Networked Life, Health

Tags: privacy, oversight, accountability, policy, health IT, Markle Common Framework