Here are a few things that have piqued our interest recently regarding the need to modernize patient access to health data:
Ultimately, patients are an “army of fact checkers” — but need to have clear access in the first place; many patients don’t realize which specific data is covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and which isn’t.
“We are looking for candid feedback about how the existing HIPAA regulations are working in the real world and how we can improve them,” said Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “We are committed to pursuing the changes needed to improve quality of care and eliminate undue burdens on covered entities while maintaining robust privacy and security protections for individuals’ health information.”
While the proposed rules might set the stage for broader usage and availability of healthcare apps, it doesn’t ensure consumers will use them. Donald Rucker, MD, director of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), said he knows from his past experience as a software developer that “the only thing that counts is how easy it is to use.”
AMIA, AHIMA call for HIPAA modernization to support patient access to health information, including OpenNotes
While other industries have moved forward with digital technology and have improved individuals’ access to information and the ability to integrate and use information, such as booking travel and finding information about prices and products, healthcare has lagged. Healthcare has not been able to create a comparable patient-centric system, American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) and American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) leaders attested.