Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has announced plans to allow between 25,000 and 30,000 patients to read physician notes in their electronic medical records for one year as part of an “open notes” project to assess whether access to physician notes may improve care.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report outlining the first phase of its project to develop the next generation of personal health records. Interdisciplinary research teams worked for 18 months to develop PHRs that allow patients to collect information from their daily lives, providing patients and their clinicians insights that are unattainable in records that reflect only clinical encounters.
Release of Common Security Framework major milestone for industry in commitment to greater electronic health information protection and growing regulatory compliance
With the dramatic rise in breaches, theft of patient health data and the increase in regulatory requirements such as those mandated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - healthcare organizations and their business partners are now under intense pressure and scrutiny regarding security and privacy. But without a fundamental change in approach the industry will continue to see inconsistencies in the interpretation of regulations, inefficiencies and unacceptably high costs in the exchange of health information, and lagging adoption of standards (such as HIPAA) that have plagued the protection of health information technology in this complex market.
To address this “implementation” gap, the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST)
Although his inauguration does not take place until next week, President-elect Barack Obama is making his voice heard now about electronic health records, reports Information Week. Obama said he wants all medical records to be digital within the next five years. The federal government would fund this project as part of Obama's plan for economic stimulation. This timeframe aligns with the Bush administration's goal of having most American's health data stored in an electronic fashion.
A new Rand Corporation study suggests that a unique patient identifier would cost up to $11 billion dollars, but would reduce errors, simplify interoperability, increase efficiency, improve patient confidence and protect patient privacy. The study further suggests the gains from implementing such a system would be approximately $77 billion per year at the 90 percent level of adoption.
The Bush administration is not waiting on Congress to pass legislation that increases access to online personal health records. Beginning in January, the administration will expand access to online records in Arizona and Utah as part of an ongoing effort to encourage greater use of health information technology. The records will contain up to two years of information from Medicare’s records. Patients will be able to add to their records and share them with physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare providers.