According to recent reports over 50% of Americans have no access to their personal health information online; this despite recent initiatives to make this data available to all patients.
To improve these statistics and ensure that consumers are able to rightfully access their health information, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Civil Rights Department recently released new guidance on the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
This guidance includes a series of FAQ’s which address issues such as a patient’s right to their health information and any exclusions therein, how to request health information, which formats and mechanism are available in order to receive it as well as an explanation regarding organizations’ responsibilities to provide it.
HHS will work in conjunction with the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) as well as the White House Social and Behavioral Science Team in order to increase interoperability and availability across the healthcare industry.
An excerpt from the guideline introduction states, “With the increasing use of and continued advances in health information technology, individuals have ever expanding and innovative opportunities to access their health information electronically, more quickly and easily, in real time and on demand. Putting individuals “in the driver’s seat” with respect to their health also is a key component of health reform and the movement to a more patient-centered health care system.”
Get Real Health has long lauded efforts to empower patients in regards to managing their health outcomes. Our InstantPHR® product, now deployed worldwide, has assisted health organizations and patients form a collaborative approach to healthcare. The addition of the CHBase™ platform to our product arsenal further engages patients as they can access and use data from virtually any source. We marry clinical data with patient-generated data in one place; exactly as HIPAA intended access to be.
Get Real Health Senior Healthcare Strategist, Christina Caraballo adds that, “This guidance offers a lot of clarity for patients and healthcare organizations to better understand individual’s rights to access their health information in a format that best suits their needs. OCR’s focus on individual’s rights to access data is a clear sign that despite the future of the EHR Incentive Program, the industry will continue to ensure that patients have electronic access to health data.”