BIO: Dr. Podgurski is on the faculty at Case Western Reserve University, where he does research on software testing and analysis. Dr. Podgurski is co-author with Professor Sharona Hoffman of a recently published article in the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology: “Finding a Cure: The Case for Regulation and Oversight of Electronic Health Records”.
TOPIC: A Software Engineering Perspective on Government Regulation of Health Information Technology
Abstract: Health information systems such as Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems will play an increasingly important role in medical care and will eventually affect the health care of almost every citizen of the U.S. and other industrialized countries. The capabilities of these multifunctional systems already go far beyond simple record-keeping to include such safety-critical functionality as electronic prescribing, decision support, and the promulgation of clinical practice guidelines. Evidence has emerged of serious problems with health information systems, including software defects and usability problems that endanger patients; security vulnerabilities that imperil their privacy; and lack of interoperability that impedes the tranfer of critical patient information between systems. The U.S. government is currently considering expansion of the few regulations that currently apply to these systems. I will discuss how government regulations should be informed by software engineering concerns raised by these complex systems and their challenging requirements.