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Patient Access To Electronic Medical Records Strengthened By New HHS Rules 53

Posted by Soulskill
from the power-to-the-people dept.
dstates writes "The Department of Health and Human Services has released newly revised rules for the Health Information Privacy and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to ensure patient access to electronic copies of their electronic medical records. Several years ago, there was a great deal of excitement about personalized health information management (e.g. Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health). Unfortunately, patients found it difficult to obtain their medical records from providers in formats that could easily be imported. Personalized health records were time consuming and difficult to maintain, so these initiatives have not lived up to their expectations (e.g. Google Health has been discontinued). The new rules should address this directly and hopefully will revitalize interest in personal health information management. The new HIPAA rules also greatly strengthen patient privacy, the ability of patients to control who sees their medical information, and increases the penalties for leaking medical records information. 'Much has changed in health care since HIPAA was enacted over fifteen years ago,' said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. 'The new rule will help protect patient privacy and safeguard patients' health information in an ever expanding digital age.'"
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Patient Access To Electronic Medical Records Strengthened By New HHS Rules

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19, 2013 @12:27PM (#42633881)

    As someone who develops medical records, let me tell you "good luck with that".

    As a newcomer to the field (with hundreds of competitors) fighting to carve a space for ourselves we're all for it, after all if you don't like your current system, an open record format makes it easy to import it into our system.

    Obviously, the established players aren't so happy with it, but there's one more party who's against it too: the doctors themselves. They don't realize it, but their own actions are fighting this tooth and nail. "Why can't I just dictate everything in a box?" "Why can't i just write it down and scan it in" "I don't want my chart to say Weight can't it just say W"?

    TL;DR: the format already exists, it's called PDF.

  • Re:For what cost? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Trax (93121) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @12:56PM (#42634015)

    I'm a doctor who is involved with the hospital's IT and EMR. The cost of switching over to electronic records is an already expensive proposition at the beginning and where the vendors get you is for maintaining the EMR on a yearly basis. Yes, it is minimal labor and not many pages but it is NOT minimal cost. Neither the private insurance nor medicare/medicaid reimburse the doctor for his or her use of the EMR and the patient is saddled with the cost.

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