Information is — and always has been — essential to virtually all aspects of health care. Clinical treatment as well as coverage, payment, care quality, and certainly one's own personal health care decisions all depend profoundly on robust, accurate, appropriate, timely, private and secure information. Further, the ability to conduct largescale health services research is inextricably linked to information, as is the ability to measure population health and conduct surveillance of public health risks.
Rosenbaum, S. & Painter, M. W. (2005). Assessing legal implications of using health data to improve health care quality and eliminate health care disparities. Washington, D.C.: Department of Health Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.