Requirements For Using E-health Begin To Emerge; Public Input Needed, Experts Say
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. The Stimulus) set aside billions of dollars for hospitals to acquire electronic medical record systems, but one requirement for hospitals hoping to receive the money will be to share patient records with other facilities, the Dallas Morning News reports. "North Texas hospitals have talked for years about ways to share these records but have been unable to agree. Some participants in the discussions have said that's because of concerns they might lose patients to competing hospitals" (Landers, 6/24).
The requirement was one of several ideas to shake loose from meetings of advisory panels that are defining "meaningful use" of electronic records, the new code word for the requirements health professionals must meet over the next few years to be eligible for e-health stimulus payments, NextGov reports. "Some observers argue that the definition of meaningful use should explicitly grant patients the right to access data entered by physicians or even own it so they can take it and pursue treatment elsewhere." Because both the public and their health providers could be affected by the final definition, health experts are urging private citizens to way in through forums at healthreform.gov (Sternstein, 6/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.