The electronic medical record offers the promise of improved care and increased efficiency. Introducing information technology into health care creates new risks to privacy as well as new means to protect privacy Patients are well aware of the potential risks associated with the automation and sharing of their medical information. These concerns can lead patients to withhold from their clinicians information that could be crucial for their care. Clinician concerns about privacy and security can lead to exclusion of sensitive information from medical records reducing the value of the record to other clinicians treating the patient and to researchers and public health officials. This report brings the good and reassuring news that with conscious forethought and continuous care and attention, the use of information technology in healthcare can and should strengthen, not impair the security and privacy of personal health information.