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EHR Ownership: Doc Vs patient…A WAR waiting to start

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on May 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm

The stage two meaningful use places a much greater emphasis on patient engagement and set high standards for making data electronically available to patients. Physicians should think about these requirements as they work to implement a new EHR system. The new rules state that a professional must make electronic records available to 50 percent of their patients. Furthermore, 10 percent of a physician’s patients must actually view and download these records.

Multiple state statutes, regulations, and cases govern the ownership of health information and the information contained in medical records. The classic statement of the rule concerning ownership of medical records is that the provider owns the medical records maintained by the provider, subject to the patient’s rights in the information contained in the record.

But,under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), every person “has a right of access to inspect and obtain a copy of protected health information.” The Meaningful Use regulations require that outpatient providers give patients clinical summaries within three business days for at least half of all office visits, if requested. Hospitals have to provide an electronic copy of discharge instructions upon request.

EHR ownership has been a hard pill to swallow for Health care providers and patients. It is hard to point out which one should be the owner when the contribution is the same. Patients’ health events and their information is what make the medical record. Healthcare providers on the other hand manage and form the formatted record to help patient and other providers get the right information when needed. Personally, I feel that ownership should be divided into both. Although, being a health care provider and knowing the risk of certain information disclosures which I do not want the patient to see, I feel that EHR should have a system in place to put in that confidential information to help other providers provide the best care under legal framework.

This way, we eliminate the risk of patient frustration of not being able to see what goes in their medical record. I also feel that this will help patients make better and wiser decisions for them when they can see what different healthcare providers think about their care. It will also reduce the medication error risk which is a major current issue in US Healthcare. It will make the care transparent which will ultimately lead to better healthcare status in country.

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  1. […] EHR Ownership: Doc Vs patient…A WAR waiting to start (draggarwal.org) […]

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