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Monday, April 19, 2010

Policy Challenges & Infrastructure Requirements to Facilitate Patient/Consumers’ Meaningful Use of HIT

ONC is requesting feedback on Stages 2 and 3 for meaningful use. The HIT Policy Committee's Meaningful Use workgroup will be holding hearings on April 20th to discuss patient and family engagement.Panel 3: Policy Challenges & Infrastructure Requirements to Facilitate Patient/Consumers’ Meaningful Use of HIT

Last week I posted my feedback on the questions to the first and second panels. Today I'm posting my feedback on the questions for the third panel.

a. What is required for vendors to be able to export data from EHRs in such a way that consumers and patients can use the data in meaningfully?
A constrained set of standards that allows for unambiguous exchange of personal health data.  The current set of standards provides too much flexibility in exchange, and does not cover the various kinds of exchanges (e.g., discharge summary, history and physical, consult) needed beyond the exchange of simple summary records.

b. What is the role of providers in making data available to patients in a meaningful way?
Providers need to 1) make the data available to patients, 2) educate patients on what is contained in the records, 3) and provide resources that help patients make better use of this information.

c. What are the meaningful uses of that data once exported? What evidence of measureable benefits exist?
Tracking health conditions over time, understanding treatment options and costs, understanding treatment effects, allowing for better care coordination between providers at different locations.  With regard to evidence, I expect that studies are needed.

d. What are the privacy and trust issues that might affect this from happening?
This is often offered as a challenge to sharing information, but I think the obverse is true.  More information sharing and transparency will create greater trust between patients and providers. 


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