Using Electronic Health Data for Community Health: Example Cases and Legal Analysis

Have you ever wondered about the hospital data that might be available to you and how you might obtain it? How does HIPAA affect the data you can get access to? And how might you use the data once you’ve got it? If so, then you may want to read on!

This 21 page white paper from the de Beaumont Foundation and Johns Hopkins University was written for public health departments. It gives you a framework that will help you request data from hospitals and health systems – data that can help move the needle on critical public health challenges.

You’ll find six examples of how you might use electronic health data to make progress on childhood asthma, a common and preventable chronic illness. You’ll also read answers to some frequently asked questions about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Each case includes a brief discussion of how it might be applied to other public health challenges. Possible applications include monitoring opioid overdoses via data on emergency department visits, assess falls prevention efforts, and map diabetes or lung disease hot spots.

You’ll find this paper available to read for free online here.