Healthcare, perhaps more so than any other industry, is dominated by the need for the sharing of detailed information. It is also an industry that is overwhelmingly preoccupied with concerns for security and patient privacy. The juxtaposition of these factors is striking: on the one hand, hospitals, physicians, nurses, government agencies, insurance companies and others need to freely obtain and distribute patient information; on the other, that information must be protected and kept confidential, or serious repercussions may ensue. It is, perhaps, one of the most challenging situations created for any industry as a result of today’s information age, impacting virtually all healthcare organizations and spanning state, local and federal boundaries.
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