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The risk is coming from inside the house: Information blocking and non-EHR data

Jennifer Vessels ( is Director of Compliance and Privacy Services, Erlanger Health System, Chattanooga, TN.

In the classic 1979 horror film When a Stranger Calls, a babysitter phones the police to report a series of increasingly threatening and frightening prank calls. The police manage to trace the calls (via the wonders of 1970s technology), resulting in the chilling and memorable line: “The calls are coming from inside the house!” While deranged callers are probably not at the top of most compliance professionals’ lists of concerns, internal sources of data and, more importantly, a lack of clarity about the risks posed by that data are frightening enough to keep one up at night. In preparation for the next phase of implementation of the Information Blocking Rule, it will be critical for organizations to have a clear view of the data lurking outside of electronic health record (EHR) systems.

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