SHARPS is a multi-institutional and multidisciplinary research project, supported by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, aimed at reducing security and privacy barriers to the effective use of health information technology.  SHARPS is one of the four ONC SHARP projects. SHARPS is advancing the requirements, foundations, design, development and deployment of security and privacy tools and methods.  The project is organized around three major healthcare environments:

  • Electronic Health Records (EHR)
  • Health Information Exchange (HIE)
  • Telemedicine (TEL)

A multidisciplinary team of computer security, medical, and social science experts is developing security and privacy policies and technology tools to support electronic use and exchange of health information.  The projects address strategic cross-cutting themes that foster collaboration, consistency, and a multi-purpose technology convergence of EHR, HIE, and TEL.


  • Conceptual and Policy Foundations Formulate privacy as an appropriate constraint to information flow (e.g., sharing, distribution, and use for treatment or capital management) by drawing on the foundation of contextual integrity.
  • Service Models Overcome security and privacy barriers through functional IT components provided as separable modules or services.
  • Open Validation Support validation and testing of healthcare security and privacy by the research community by providing test-beds, methodologies, open-source software, and measurable benchmarks.


  • The maturation of security and privacy technologies and policies, removing key barriers that prevent the use of valuable health information.
  • The creation of an integrated security and privacy research community for HIT that will exist following the culmination of the SHARPS program.