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With HIE, public health organizations may also be able to enhance their existing data uses, such as: As electronic reporting generates more data, public health organizations and private researchers may start asking for more access to the information.

One example of public health reporting for health surveillance is disease registries that provide epidemiological data such as the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program. For example, an individual who tests positive for HIV will be asked for names of others whom he or she might have exposed to the disease. 45 CFR § 164.512(b)(1)(iv)Under California law a physician who reports a patient’s positive HIV test results to someone she believes is the patient’s sexual partner, or with whom she believes the patient has shared needles, may not be held liable for the disclosure. The answer is that it really depends on whom your health care provider shares the information with.Both HIPAA and California law attempt to balance individual privacy rights with the need to protect public health.Public health authorities (such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and your state and local health departments) and other government agencies (such as law enforcement) monitor disease and health safety issues.The CDC website has more information on the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, which enables public health agencies that range from local to international to share what’s reported about notifiable diseases.This helps public health officials to monitor, and ideally, to prevent the spread of diseases in this category.

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