Contact: Anna Orlova, PhD, Executive Director Tel: 410-614-3463 –…

Contact: Anna Orlova, PhD, Executive Director
Tel: 410-614-3463 — email: [email protected]

BALTIMORE, Maryland – LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – August 8, 2007 – Complying with new and existing federal and state laws related to the privacy of health information continues to pose significant challenges to local and state public health agencies around the country. To help address some of the most common privacy issues faced by public health agencies, whether they are acting in their role as a public health authority, a health care provider, or a health plan, the Public Health Data Standards Consortium released today “PRISM – A Privacy Toolkit for Public Health Professionals.”

PRISM is an electronic, web-based tool to provide public health departments and state and local government health care programs with a convenient and useful way to understand the basic legal privacy requirements for individually identifiable health information use and disclosure. The tool identifies and defines the baseline conditions and requirements that a public health or other government health entity must follow when using and disclosing specific types of health information.

PRISM consists of a series of easy-to-navigate tables that outline different types and/or purposes of information use and disclosure and the general legal requirements relevant to each type of use or disclosure. The tables describe the baseline privacy requirements for government health sector uses and disclosures of health information using HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, as a foundation. The tables also take into consideration other federal laws impacting health privacy and common state privacy laws and related requirements.

PRISM is available at the Consortium’s website –

pris*m [przm] – an optical instrument used to look at an object from different angles

The Consortium’s PRISM Privacy Tool helps look at health information privacy issues from different public health perspectives.

PRISM was created under a contract with the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About the Consortium – The Public Health Data Standards Consortium is a non-profit membership-based organization of federal, state and local health agencies, national and local professional associations, academia, public and private sector organizations, international members, and individuals dedicated to promoting the use of standards in public health information exchanges. Visit the Consortium’s website at for information on other initiatives and projects and to learn about how to join.

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