New Patient Access Rights Will Challenge HIM Departments

Published
  • September 10 2011, 1:03pm EDT

The HITECH Act gives consumers the right to access their electronic health records in an electronic format. But many security experts believe that under final rules, giving patients the records on a CD or thumb drive won't meet the intent of the law, says Lou Ann Wiedemann, director of professional practice resources at the American Health Information Management Association in Chicago.

She believes 'electronic' will mean access to a particular patient's records in a provider's EHR via a Web portal or a cloud computing application, "and not an electronic version of your EHR," Wiedemann says. "The industry is hoping CD or a thumb drive will be okay, but everyone is waiting on the final rule before they start to plan how to do this."

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