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The Privacy Officer's Times Are A-Changin'

DATA PROTECTION—U.S.

April 16, 2012

HealthImaging reports on the ways the role of the privacy officer has changed since it was mandated in 2003 by HIPAA. One expert says new regulations, technologies and data-sharing practices have required the privacy officer's evolution. "Protecting patient health information has become much more complex since 2003, when nearly all healthcare organizations used time-tested systems to protect paper records," he said. "In turn, privacy officers now require an expanding set of knowledge and skills." Modifications to HIPAA, via the HITECH Act, created additional pressure on privacy officers to conduct regular audits, investigations and risk assessments, he said, adding that one of the greatest challenges privacy professionals face today is documenting the potential for harm.
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