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Program studies ways to see who accesses EHR data

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 22, 2013

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The University of Texas at Austin has announced the launch of a national pilot program to explore ways that patients can track who requests and receives their protected health information.

Electronic health record systems have the ability to record patient consent directives, but patients do not have the ability to see if those directives are being followed. The program aims to change that.

The metadata within EHRs can track when a record is accessed and by whom, but patients do not have access to that information. The pilot program will examine how to get that information to patients. It also will examine the creation of repositories for patient consent directives so the patients’ choices are incorporated into the decision to release or withhold certain protected health information.

The pilot will look into ways of reporting to patients who have requested their data or accessed their personal health information. The pilot program is being guided by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

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