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National Center for Health Care Security Relies on Vanderbilt Team

Posted by on Friday, September 24, 2010 in Digest, Fall 2010.

Janos Sztipanovits
Janos Sztipanovits

A new national center established to secure the privacy of electronic health information will rely on experience and work from Vanderbilt engineers and medical researchers.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced the creation of a new center for health information and privacy. The SHARPS center will focus on three specific subjects: electronic health records, health information exchanges and telemedicine. The center will be housed at the University of Illinois, and experts from universities across the country will handle different areas of research.

Vanderbilt’s participation in the center shows that the university has become highly visible in the field of health care security and privacy, says Janos Sztipanovits, E. Bronson Ingram Distinguished Professor and director of the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) at Vanderbilt’s School of Engineering.

Sztipanovits; Mark Frisse, Accenture Professor of Biomedical Informatics at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center; and Edward Shultz, MD, director of information technology integration at VUMC; head up the joint Vanderbilt team. William Stead, VUMC’s chief strategy and information officer, will serve as one of the center’s two chief scientists.

One of Vanderbilt’s unique contributions is the close partnership it has established between its engineers and clinical researchers. The Medical Center has a 15-year track record in the development of electronic health care records. ISIS contributes a structured approach to data security and extensive software tools that it developed to protect sensitive data for the Department of Defense.

The ability to combine engineering and medical skills and apply them to health care will assist Vanderbilt in identifying barriers to the adoption of information technology and in developing solutions for its use.