ONC pilot uses tablets for HIE meaningful consent

By: Brian Dolan | Mar 20, 2012        

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Female Doctor with TabletThe Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to launch a pilot in September to determine whether patients can “meaningfully consent” to their data being shared with other health care providers using an application on a tablet in the waiting room. The pilot will take place at a hospital and three clinics in western New York that are all a part of the HEALTHeLINK health information exchange. If the pilot works, HHS and ONC plan to make the patient consent education app open source so that other facilities can use it, too.

“By ‘meaningful consent’, they meant that individuals would really understand what they were consenting to and would be informed about how their information would be shared,” Joy Pritts, chief privacy officer at ONC said, according to a report over at Healthcare Info Security.

The app will give patients a number of options for how they would like their information to be shared. It will also allow them to read as much or as little about HIEs as they’d like before making a decision. Consent options will be numerous too and include allowing records to be exchanged in all cases, not allowing any exchanges, allowing only in an emergency, or allowing all but certain organizations to access the data.

The patients in the pilot will also complete a survey to determine how helpful the app was for them. The app will automatically track how much information was read on average before a patient made their decision. In the future ONC plans to launch another pilot to determine whether it’s possible to help patients give consent to share only certain parts of their medical records.

More on the tablet-enabled “meaningful consent” pilot over at Healthcare Info Security