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  1. Thorpe, Jane Hyatt JD
  2. Gray, Elizabeth Alexandra JD, CHC


Big data is heralded as having the potential to revolutionize health care by making large amounts of data available to support care delivery, population health, and patient engagement. Critics argue that big data's transformative potential is inhibited by privacy requirements that restrict health information exchange. However, there are a variety of permissible activities involving use and disclosure of patient information that support care delivery and management. This article presents an overview of the legal framework governing health information, dispels misconceptions about privacy regulations, and highlights how ambulatory care providers in particular can maximize the utility of big data to improve care.