Increased use of EHR leads to increased debate over patients' rights

4/2/2008

INDIANAPOLIS The debate over patients’ control of their health records is increasing as more providers adopt electronic health records.

More than a month ago, the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services recommending that patients have the power to withhold certain sensitive information from EHRs, such as reproductive health or genetic information.

One of the concerns the NCVHS has with EHR’s is that, employers and insurance companies could access the patients’ records and use the information against them.

Marc Overhage, chief executive officer of the Indiana Health Information Exchange had a different opinion. He noted that physicians need access to personal information to provide the best care possible. He also stated that to implement those kinds of initiatives would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

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