One thing that comes to mind after reading this article, does Deven McGraw, quoted below, have a PHR? This may be a bit of a rant here but after watching the testimonies I was surprised to see most speaking or involved not even aware or having seen a PHR. This is a consumer product, like a car, for everyone right? I truly hope that someone involved in all of these meetings has a PHR, or has set up a sample one on the internet so we can all discuss with first hand information.
Speaking of cars, we have DMVs, where one goes to take a test and learning centers that teach people how to drive, let’s say we do something perhaps similar with PHRs? I have stated this before, we have one big chore ahead in educating the citizens of the US on how to handle and use personal health records, otherwise it’ going nowhere in a hurry.
I occasionally speak to a senior’s group in Newport, the Computer Friends Group and last time I was there, questions came up about PHRs, as well as some solutions that some seniors already had! Now is that amazing! Many in the group had taken advantage of the “free” service from the Fire Department to have their medical records on a USB drive they carried with them. The questions were on how to go to the next level and have them online so they would not need to carry the USB drive. Hmmmm…think there’s something to be said for this, seniors already carrying around their medical records with them, and this is about 6 months ago. It says something for perhaps the rest of us to learn from, as this group was not afraid to learn how to handle their health records.
The EHR situation with doctors and hospitals is needed and the longer we delay, the more errors and less connected we are. People die when information relative to their health and medications is not available, and the funds are needed to create the availability to have credible information available. Ask any ED doctor if he would like to have some information up front, allergies, meds, etc. before treating a patient. Requiring consent and how to do it is a learning curve we need to address, not ignore. BD
Rather than relying on consent to control all uses of health information, the Center for Democracy and Technology said consent should be used in a more focused way. It should be required, for example, for access and disclosure of information in new personal health records being established on the Internet, or for uses and disclosures of information for marketing purposes.
"Requiring consent for all data sharing in healthcare will only overwhelm patients, leading them to give blanket consent and providing very weak protection," said Deven McGraw, the center's health expert who will testify at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing alongside other consumer advocates, technology and healthcare industry representatives.
The center favors including privacy protections in the economic stimulus plan, House and Senate versions of which contain around $20 billion for a national health IT network.