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June 21, 2006



(Jackson, Mississippi) – Governor Haley Barbour announced today that Mississippi has been awarded a federal contract for implementation of the Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration (HISPC) project that is designed to facilitate the widespread use of electronic health records within the next ten years.


This project represents a national collaborative effort to address privacy and security issues in business policy, regulations and state laws posing challenges to the secure sharing of electronic health information to authorized entities throughout the nation. The contract is funded by Research Triangle Institute (RTI) under contract with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in cooperation with the National Governors’ Association.


“Hurricane Katrina taught us many lessons and one of them was that personal medical records can be lost in a disaster. We need to take full advantage of advances in health systems technology to both protect the privacy of personal information and make sure patient and provider records are preserved after a disaster,” Governor Barbour said. “One recommendation of the Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal, with strong input by health care professionals, is to study development of an electronic means of preserving vital information, a means that is safe from hurricanes and other disasters. I am happy to report that Mississippi is part of a national initiative in this effort.”


Governor Barbour has designated Information & Quality Healthcare (IQH), a Mississippi-based independent Quality Improvement Organization, to serve as the state’s lead on the HISPC project. With a 35-year history in Mississippi and a membership of nearly 1,800 physicians, IQH will engage multi-disciplinary teams of stakeholders in Mississippi healthcare to analyze business practices and laws in the state; define barriers and develop solutions; and design implementation plans to facilitate the private, secure transmission of electronic health information.


Project findings will be shared with the other entities analyzing the same issues within their respective states or territories, and final reports and recommendations will be submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services in mid-2007 to support the national initiative.