Sometimes it may seem to patients like it would take an act of Congress for them to obtain their own health records. They might literally get that if new rules proposed by federal health regulators are adopted. Among the issues the draft covers are technology standards meant to unlock digital data in EHRs. One part of the proposal, for example, would empower patients to access all their health information electronically—including the provider’s notes, hospital records, insurance claims, and more—free of charge. If they go into effect, the new regulations are also expected to benefit companies like Apple, which are devising tools that store real-time health information on the patient’s own digital device. The authors of the draft liken their ideal system to banking, where patients have ready access to all their personal information 24-7 from any device. The depth of information available would be a step forward from patient portals with information limited to what the facility is comfortable sharing with patients (most often, not including notes and imaging)—and for which they’re able to charge patients.

 

New Regs Would Make It Easier for Patient to Access Their Own Health Information
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