Rule Would Let Patients Find Out Who’s Looked At Their Health Records
The regulation, issued Tuesday, would allow patients to request a report that documents who has accessed and viewed their protected health information. And, in other news, research shows that electronic health records have become an important public health research tool. In becoming so, however, EMRs raise ethical questions.
The Hill: Patients Could Gain Right To Find Out Who's Seen Their Health Records
Patients would be able to find out who has looked at their electronic medical records under a proposed rule opened up for public comment on Tuesday. Patients would obtain the information by requesting an access report, which would document who electronically accessed and viewed their protected health information. Although providers are currently required to track access to such information, they don't have to tell patients (Pecquet, 5/31).
Bloomberg: Health-Record Vendors Led By GE May Gain From U.S. Privacy Rules
General Electric Co., Siemens AG and other providers of electronic health-record technology may benefit from a proposed change to U.S. medical privacy regulations announced today. A change to a rule under the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, would allow patients to request a report from their health-care providers listing who has viewed or accessed their medical information electronically, according to a news release from the Health and Human Services Department. "We need to protect peoples' rights so that they know how their health information has been used or disclosed," Georgina Verdugo, director of the department's office of civil rights, said in a statement (Engleman, 5/31).
MSNBC: Is Someone Snooping Your Health Records? New Rule Will Tell You Who
Health care patients will have a broad new tool to keep their personal information under wraps if a proposed Department of Health and Human Services rule is adopted. The update to federal health care privacy laws proposed on Tuesday by the Department of Health and Human Services would give patients the right to see the name of any person who accessed their electronic health records, and what he or she did with them. The so-called "access report" would be available from some health care providers as soon as Jan. 1, 2013. It would function much like a free credit report - consumers would have the right to ask for one such report for free every year (Sullivan, 5/31).
The Boston Globe: A Question Of Privacy In Health Records Research
Researchers from Harvard and other institutions announced last week that they had identified a potentially harmful interaction between two commonly prescribed drugs, Paxil and Pravachol.The drug interaction likely would have been ignored if the researchers hadn't had access to hundreds of thousands of electronic health records, including those of Partners HealthCare patients. Hospitals and doctors, under pressure from the federal government, are increasingly converting to electronic record systems. Because the new systems provide huge, searchable databases of health information for millions of patients, they are becoming an important tool in public health research. But they also raise serious ethical questions (Conaboy, 5/31).