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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology

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What Issues Unique to HIV/AIDS Care Should I Consider During Implementation?

Security and privacy are of vital importance to HIV/AIDS patients and providers.  These issues must be addressed early on during the design and implementation phases.

Security. Special measures must be taken to protect patient data. In particular, organizations must ensure the presence of administrative, physical, and technical safeguards so that information will be accessed by authorized personnel only and used appropriately.

Privacy and Confidentiality. Many legal protections exist governing the privacy and confidentiality of personal health information of individuals with HIV/AIDS. Targeted steps must be taken to ensure that patients are provided with clear assurances about who will have access to their information and how it will be used. In some cases State and local laws require your organization to institute specific procedures for obtaining patient consent in relation to use of the health IT tool.

Other implementation considerations may arise due to the high level of care coordination needed to comply with HIV/AIDS reporting requirements.  For instance, it might be necessary to share patient information among the patient’s providers. In addition, your organization must take appropriate steps to ensure that your EHR system complies with Federal and State mandated reporting requirements.

Related Resources:

Protecting the Civil Rights and Health Information Privacy Rights of People Living with HIV/AIDS  – OCR’s overview of enforcement efforts that are directed at protecting the civil rights and health information privacy rights of people living with HIV, increasing access to quality health care, and reducing HIV-related healthcare disparities.

Health Information Privacy Examples Involving HIV/AIDS – Case studies developed by the Office of Civil Rights to exemplify how providers can protect the health information of HIV/AIDS patients.

Privacy and Security Module of the Health IT Adoption Toolbox – HRSA’s toolbox provides information and resources necessary to prevent security risks and establish effective methods for maintaining the privacy and security of your EHR.

Ensuring Security of High-Risk Information in EHRs go to exit disclaimer – This article provides privacy and security recommendations for sensitive and high-risk data, including data related to HIV/AIDS treatment.

Developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration as a resource for health centers and other safety net and ambulatory care providers who are seeking to implement health IT.
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