HIPAA is designed to give patients control of their own medical data — who can see it, who can access it, and who can use it, especially with regards to third parties. But when it comes to physicians themselves, the status quo is patients being expected to fully disclose, so doctors have all the information they might need to treat them. A new study is challenging that paradigm.
The study comes out of The Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine and Eskenazi Health, published as a five-part special supplement to the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and it shows that patients for the most part want controls of their data. Using Eskenazi Health’s in-house electronic record system, researchers gave 105 patients the option to block sensitive information, including information on sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse or mental health, from their care providers. Doctors could still gain access to the data if they deemed it medically essential by hitting a “break the glass” button in the back-end interface.
“To the best of our knowledge, a trial like ours has never been attempted before, and we believe it presents an opportunity to shape national policy based on evidence,” Regenstrief President and CEO William Tierney, MD, principal investigator of the project, said in a statement. “We learned that patients have widely different opinions of what kinds of their health care data they would like visible to different members of their health care team and others, such as health services researchers, who might have access to information in their electronic medical record.” Keep reading>>