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Catherine Arnott Smith
School of Information Studies, Syracuse University
The HIPAA-Aware EAD Finding Aid
Electronic health records (EHRs) pose significant challenges not only to medical researchers, but to the archivists who must preserve these records for researchers of the future. The development and maintenance of EHRs, and, logically, the preservation of EHRs for access by future generations now takes place in a climate of extreme sensitivity towards patient privacy. HIPAA (the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; Public Law 104-191) imposes severe financial penalties for unauthorized release of personal health information (PHI).
An XML standard, the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA), has been developed and is now being refined to enable secure maintenance, storage, and transmission of semistructured clinical documents. In this paper, we report on a project that marries the CDA to the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) standard, ensuring the requirements of health information policy will not only be met, but can be used to guide and inform researchers of the future.