The US Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT commissioned and has now published a very useful review of the consent issued around Health Information Exchange.
“Consent” issues may complicate PR efforts
By Jeff Rowe, Editor
Federal officials recently announced a two-year PR effort to educate the public about the benefits of HIT, but a recent report prepared for ONC shows how complicated that task may be.
Prepared by the George Washington University Medical Center’s Department of Health Policy, “Consumer Consent Options for Electronic Health Information Exchange: Policy Considerations and Analysis” describes the potentially confusing array of options with which patients may be faced as they try to maintain control of their personal health information.
As the Executive Summary succinctly puts it, “A range of consent models can be applied in different contexts of electronic exchange in the U.S. . . .There is also considerable variation in the type of information exchanged, ranging from the more basic (e.g., lab results) to the more mature and complex (e.g., a wide array of health information).
In other words, straight from the start of their experience with EHRs, patients can be faced with difficult decisions to make concerning how much of their personal health information they’re willing to share.
And those decisions may vary depending on the HIT system their provider is using. According to the report, current consumer consent options include “No consent”, “Opt-out”, “Opt-out with exceptions,” “Opt-in”, and “Opt-in with restrictions”.
The US Government site with additional documentation is here:
This is well worth a visit and download.
This report is certainly a useful contribution to the debate we had a few days here:
Given the number of comments the area is of interest to many readers. The debate in the US certainly has many similarities to the discussions that we have seen in Australia recently.