InformationWeek Asks: Who Owns EHR Data?
When it comes to electronic health records, do patients own the data, or does someone or something else control it? Since EHRs are a significant part of the Affordable Care Act, InformationWeek decides to ask experts the question.
Sep 10, 2014
NEW YORK, Sept. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the main components of the Affordable Care Act is electronic health records, or EHRs, which are supposed to gather a person's medical information and store that data in a digital format, making it easier for doctors and other healthcare professionals to compare notes, while ensuring good care for patients.
However, when it comes to EHRs, who actually owns that data? Is it the patient, as we might think? Or does the doctor, hospital, or insurance company own it? At a time when security breaches have exposed the vulnerabilities of the infrastructure that makes up the US healthcare system, it's important for patients to know who controls the data -- and for IT security professionals to know who must guard it.
With that in mind, InformationWeek editor Alison Diana is asking the question: Who owns EHR data? In a series of interviews with doctors, healthcare professionals, and security experts, Diana finds there is no easy answer to the question, especially as local, state, and federal officials don't offer clear guidelines or a cohesive set of rules and regulations to govern patient data.
In addition, the increasing use of wearable devices that can record vital statistics about a person are about to complicate the situation even more. In her report for InformationWeek, Diana writes:
"But because today's electronic records are easily shareable -- and hackable -- and have different rules depending on state and organization, some patients fear they have little to no control over the information that tracks their very personal health information."
It's a conversation worth having, for patients and IT professionals alike. For more information about EHRs, patient privacy, and data security, check out Diana's report on InformationWeek.
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Community Editorial Director, UBM Tech