Case Western Reserve University Professors Call for Regulation of Electronic Health Records



Cost and security concerns about bringing health care record keeping into the 21st century through electronic health records (EHR) have led to a call for an effective regulatory and oversight system from a pair of Case Western Reserve University professors.

"Electronic information can be illicitly accessed from anywhere and transmitted across the globe quickly, cheaply, and with little risk of detection," said Sharona Hoffman, professor of law and bioethics at the School of Law. "EHR systems could transform health care in the U.S., but their potential will be realized only with careful oversight."

Hoffman, along with Professor Andy Podgurski from the Case School of Engineering, are responsible for one of the first scholarly studies to assess the need for federal regulation of electronic health record systems. "Finding a Cure: The Case for Regulation and Oversight of Electronic Health Record Systems" (Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, forthcoming 2009) comes on the heels of two previous publications by the two on security and privacy issues of EHRs and critiques of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule. Read more.

Case Western Reserve Junior Studies American Corporate Culture at Target India


An anthropology major, Nina Sreshta sought to use the emerging field of business anthropology to help in understanding how the American work culture translates in an international business environment across borders into different countries. She chose to focus on one of America's largest retail companies, Target, and to view how its corporate philosophy and operational means were carried out half a world away.

The Case Western Reserve University junior, who grew up and resides in the Cleveland area, has already seen a lot of the world. She counts India, Costa Rica, Paris, Kenya, South Africa and Mexico among her visited locales. And she's seen American companies-turned-multinational corporations (MNC), like McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Apple and Wal-Mart, located in nearly every stop.

Thanks to the College of Arts and Sciences' Experiential Fellowship in Anthropology and a contact at Target, she spent three weeks interviewing and observing staff members at Target India in Bangalore, learning how the company, which operates all 1,612 of its retail stores within the United States, functions in a different culture. Read more.

Campus News

As Cyber Security Awareness Month comes to a close, Case Western Reserve University announces the new University Password Policy, which applies more stringent security controls for passwords based on information sensitivity of IT systems accessed by university users. The new policy consolidates password complexity improvements implemented in early 2006 with additional controls, including a maximum password age. Users are now required to change their password at least annually. The new policy is applicable to all faculty, staff, students and affiliates, but does not apply to alumni accounts. The technical implementation of the policy implements a password age counter, and an e-mail notification process which begins 30 days prior to password expiration. If a user does not change the password by the expiration date, the password expires, but accounts remain active. The user can use the account again after changing the password. More guidance and help with management of passwords can be found at the ITS Passwords page.

The Spartan Cheerleaders will host their fourth annual Little Spartans Cheer Clinic Saturday, November 8. Campus community members are invited to bring their children in grades K-8 out to learn cheers and a dance routine prior to the football game. The children will have an opportunity to perform at the game. The cost is $10 for the clinic only, $20 for the clinic, performance and a T-shirt. Contact Roseann Bertone with questions or to register.

E-Books number in the thousands at Case Western Reserve, and cover numerous centuries and disciplines. The Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) October Spotlight helps users find the ones that will meet their needs. Each month, KSL highlights resources and services. Learn more about the thousands of E-Books on the KSL NewsBlog.

For Faculty and Staff

Web training is being offered to interested travelers and travel arrangers for "Travelport," the online booking tool through Traveline Travel Services, a Case Western Reserve University preferred vendor. Travelport can be used for travel reservations using the Business Travel Account—for instance using a central university credit card—to which air travel may be charged. Go online for session sign-up, dates and times. Registration is limited.

For Students

Applications are being accepted for the 2009-2010 undergraduate Research at the Interface of the Biological and Mathematical Sciences (RIBMS) program. Second- and third-year students interested in joining a team of other students majoring in math, statistics, biology, systems biology or biochemistry are being sought to work on research projects under the mentorship of interdisciplinary faculty teams. Available research projects include malaria genotyping and ecology; biomechanics of soft-bodied organisms; chemotaxis and the immune system; and cognitive networks and the structure of human memory. RIBMS students will work intensively during a 10-week summer internship, followed by two semesters of research during the academic year. Go online for more details and application materials.

Case Western Reserve's Psi Chi chapter, the psychology honor society, is selling T-shirts. The front of the shirt will have a small Psi Chi logo, and the back will have the saying "Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?" The shirts—navy blue with gold writing—are available for purchase to the campus community. To request more information, send an e-mail to Lauren von Eckartsberg. In addition, the organization would like to remind psychology students that the deadline for applications to become a member of Psi Chi this semester is November 15Membership requirements are available online. Applications are available and can be turned in to the Psi Chi mailbox in Mather Memorial, Room 109.



Les Paul has been hailed as a pioneer and innovator in rock 'n' roll. He will again be honored when Case Western Reserve University and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum present  the 13th Annual American Music Masters series, "The Wizard of Waukesha: The Life and Legacy of Les Paul," November 10-15. The week-long celebration features exhibits, movies, concerts, and the annual American Music Masters Conference, featuring leading musicians and scholars who will lead in-depth discussions of Paul's life and his influence on music. Read more.

The next Friday Public Affairs Discussion Group will feature the topic "Halloween Special: Election Preview" with Case Western Reserve's Karen Beckwith, professor of political science; Justin Buchler, assistant professor of political science; and Andrew Lucker, adjunct assistant professor of political science. Discussion begins at 12:30 p.m., Friday, October 31, at the Inamori Center in Crawford Hall.

The School of Medicine's chapter of the Student National Medical Association invites the campus community to attend the 2008 SNMA Region V Annual Meeting and Conference November 14-16. This year's conference, with a theme of "Building Bridges: Forging New Relationships in Medicine," will offer workshops and lectures that will challenge participants to expand their perspective on the role of the physician and promote partnerships which enhance patient care, health policy and biomedical advancement. More information on the conference and registration can be found online.

The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

October 30, 2008

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Charity Choice 2008


Members of the university community can contribute to the Charity Choice Campaign online or print out a pledge form and return it by mail. The active campaign continues through December 31, 2008. Additional information about the organizations and the program is available on the Charity Choice Campaign 2008 Web site.

Case in the News

'Personhood' amendment on Colorado ballot

National Public Radio, October 29, 2008
Colorado is one of several states facing a controversial ballot measure this fall that could have far-reaching impacts on abortion law. Amendment 48 would define "personhood" as beginning at the moment of conception, giving fertilized human eggs the same constitutional rights as a person. Jessica Berg, a professor of law and bioethics at Case Western Reserve University, says the amendment could lead to some bizarre situations.

Ten immune system-boosting foods, October 30, 2008
Many people, when they are feeling miserable from a cold or the flu, get the urge to gorge on food. The good news is that this tactic can be beneficial and even speed the healing process–if one picks the right foods. Mary Beth Kavenagh, an instructor in the Department of Nutrition at Case Western Reserve University, comments.

Case Western Reserve sports news and notes

The Plain Dealer, October 29, 2008
The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team is currently third in the nation in Division III in digs, averaging 22.2 per game. And the Spartans upped the ante last Thursday, averaging 30 digs a game in a 3-0 win over Ursuline College on their inaugural "Dig for the Cure" night. At the end of the match, the Spartans had raised over $4,500 for breast cancer research...and counting.

Higher Ed News

Downturn expected to drive tuition up

New York Times, October 29, 2008
Tuition costs rose slightly faster than the Consumer Price Index last year, and students received record amounts of financial aid, according to the annual reports on college pricing and student aid released Wednesday by the College Board. But while financial aid is growing, average student borrowing is still going up, as well.