KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Scientists Trying To Merge Millions Of Patient Medical Records

The attempt includes collecting and connecting terabytes of patient medical records from every patient recently treated at one of New York's major hospital centers. Meanwhile in Kansas, a council discusses ways to regulate so-called "secondary use" of patient health data.

The Washington Post: Scientists Embark On Unprecedented Effort To Connect Millions Of Patient Medical Records
Inside an otherwise ordinary office building in lower Manhattan, government-funded scientists have begun collecting and connecting together terabytes of patient medical records in what may be one of the most radical projects in health care ever attempted. The data -- from every patient treated at one of New York’s major hospital centers over the past few years -- include some of the most intimate details of a life. Vital signs. Diagnoses and conditions. Results of blood tests, X-rays, MRI scans. Surgeries. Insurance claims. And in some cases, links to genetic samples (Cha, 4/15).

Kansas Health Institute News Service:  KanHIT Work Groups To Study Secondary-Use Policies
Members of a council advising the state on how to govern the digital exchange of patient health information met again today to talk about ways to regulate the so-called "secondary use" of the data. As more medical providers feed their patient information to the two exchange networks operating in the state, the network managers are expected to receive more requests for access to the data from researchers, marketers, drug companies and others. Kansas is an "opt-out" state, which means patients may have their information shared or exchanged over the networks among their various participating medical providers unless they sign a form prohibiting it (Shields, 4/15).

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