It’s a Bright Idea: Protecting Citizens’ Personal Health Information

Submitted by:  Mark Boxer, group president, ACS Government Healthcare Solutions

Making sure our private health information stays private is a serious concern for all of us. So when the Wyoming Department of Health (also known as WDH), was recently honored for an ongoing initiative to protect people’s personal health information, many of us at ACS also felt a sense of pride. . The agency has earned a Bright Idea designation from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

WDH was committed to being a leader in protecting health information, so in 2008 the agency proactively launched the Protected Health Information Compliance project, using sophisticated auditing and data-mining techniques to make sure electronic health data shared across state systems was compliant with federal privacy and security rules.

Computer And Stethoscope: Electronic Medical RecordAs a result, the project positioned WDH to exceed federal data compliance regulations when they were enacted in 2009, as well as to begin programs to regularly evaluate risks of data exposure and monitor computer systems in real-time.

The Protected Health Information project also lays the groundwork for Electronic Health Records to be implemented into the state’s Medicaid program. When it is complete, the Wyoming Total Health Record Web portal will integrate medical records from multiple systems, giving physicians comprehensive, real-time information at the time of care.

ACS helped develop and implement the Protected Health Information project and has been a long-term partner to the state. We’ve supported their Medicaid program since 1993, enabling WDH to focus on maximizing the accessibility and quality of healthcare.

Bright Ideas is an initiative that recognizes creative and promising government programs and partnerships. The initiative is offered through the Innovations in Government Program, a program of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. If you want to learn more, visit

—  Mark Boxer, group president, ACS Government Healthcare Solutions

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