LBJ School, Patient Privacy Rights Foundation Co-Host Washington, D.C. Summit on Health Privacy Rights

The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and the Patient Privacy Rights Foundation will co-host the nation's first public summit to discuss the future of health privacy in the digital age.

"Getting IT Right: Protecting Patient Privacy in a Wired World" will be held on June 13 at the Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C. The event is the first in a planned series of forums on this theme and coincides with the creation of the U.S. government's plan for a new health information technology (HIT) infrastructure, which will collect personal health information. For agenda and registration information, visit the Health Privacy Summit Web site.

The summit will be interactive and audience members will be expected to contribute questions to panels and participate in work groups to identify urgent health privacy needs, along with the immediate steps needed to deliver responsible and realistic solutions.

"The goal of the summit is to create the world's premier public forum on health privacy issues by uniting a 'brain trust' of experts -- academics, advocates, government, health care, and those in the technology field -- who are willing to work together to ensure health privacy is a centerpiece of U.S. health care system reforms," said Deborah Peel, member of the board of directors of the Patient Privacy Rights. "We're very pleased with the response to the summit, from panelists and speakers to sponsors, which no doubt speaks to the importance and urgency of these issues today and into the future."

"Designed well, this digital health information system could be the foundation for a more efficient 21st century health care system," said Benedicte Callan, the Sid Richardson Fellow of Health Innovation and Policy at the LBJ School, who feels the United States is reaching a crossroads in patient privacy with the creation of the HIT infrastructure. "It could lower costs, make care more safe and effective while leading to new treatments by benefiting research. But without proper protections built in up front, the HIT system could compromise the fundamental rights of citizens to protect their most sensitive personal health information."

"The LBJ School has been preparing leaders for 40 years to help find innovative solutions to the most complex public policy issues and challenges of our modern world," said Robert Hutchings, dean of the LBJ School. "Therefore, we see it as critically important to engage in this issue on every level -- local, state, national, international -- through research and collaborative partnerships in conferences such as this one. We are especially pleased to join with the Patient Privacy Rights Foundation and with the other conference participants on working together towards solutions to one of the greatest privacy challenges of our time."

Major sponsors to date include Microsoft, Jericho Systems, ID Experts, e-MDs, Inc., and Medical Research and Materiel Command, Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center at the U.S. Department of Defense.

For more information, an agenda, and to register for the conference, visit the Health Privacy Summit Web site.