Team Description

Within the Minnesota healthcare community, we have multiple Health Information Exchange (HIE) projects and initiatives underway that are reaching various levels of maturity, so it is imperative that we ensure our state laws and business practices are understood and standardized in a way that advances the ongoing development of HIE. Minnesota has a strong culture of respect for individual privacy that is reflected in a complex web of state laws and rules, as well as business policies and practices, which most often are more stringent than the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy protections. In order to make progress in our quest to reach national and state electronic heath record goals, we must examine which laws need to be updated - and which policies can be harmonized across organizations - in order to more clearly support health information exchange while still maintaining adequate privacy protections. At the same time, we need to identify best practices and capitalize on the opportunities inherent in electronic recordkeeping to implement stronger privacy protections than are possible with paper health records.

This project will allow for broad-based stakeholder engagement and collaboration in identifying laws and policies necessary to protect individuals' privacy and identify those that restrict the reliable and timely exchange of health information needed to improve the quality and efficiency of health care. The specific goals of this project include:

  •  Expanding consumer participation in health information exchange (HIE) discussions;
  •  Developing a comprehensive understanding of variations in business privacy and security policies and practices and how those variations impact health information technology (HIT) and HIE;
  •  Creating a set of practical solutions and implementation plans for preserving privacy and security protections that allow interoperable electronic health information systems and exchanges;
  •  Strengthening existing collaborative networks - and creating of new ones - to support ongoing HIT and HIE efforts; and
  •  Increasing stakeholders' knowledge of best practices for HIT and HIE and how to implement them within and across organizations

How to get involved

Individuals and organizations interested in privacy, security and the exchange of health information may become involved in the project in a variety of ways. The best way to learn about the project and opportunities for involvement is to visit the Minnesota e-Health Initiative web page at: http://www.health.state.mn.us/e-health. At the web page, it will be possible to:

  •  Sign up for e-mail updates regarding the project;
  •  Learn about the project's four working groups, including their: charges and responsibilities, public meetings, meeting materials, reports, and solicitations for public input;
  •  Learn about upcoming public meetings seeking input from consumers on the consumer benefits of health information exchange, privacy protections, and consumer rights;
  •  Find out about all of the various ways your input and feedback can be incorporated into the various aspects of the project.
Title: Project Director
Name: James I. Golden, PhD


October 2006 Interim Assessment of Variation
Oct/Nov 2006 Regional Meetings
November 2006 Interim Analysis of Solutions
December 2006 Interim Implementation Plan
March 2007 Final Assessment and Analysis of Solutions
March 2007 Final Implementation Plans
March 2007 National Meeting
April 2007 Nationwide Summary

Links to relevant web pages