6 Ways ONC’s New Rules Grant Unprecedented Access to Patients to their Data

The 21st Century Cures Act aims to ensure the health information is compatible and provide patients more control of their medical records. The effortless exchange of electronic medical records (EMR) systems and use of mobile apps by the patients have the power of providing convenience and superior quality via transparency.

According to the law certified by the health IT developers are responsible for penalties like violation of information blocking. The new federal rules for sharing data empowers patients with the unprecedented access to their vital healthcare information closely similar to managing finances or travel information.

The new guideline expressed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) permits the patients to get to the entirety of their wellbeing related data and offer it further with mobile applications. The integral part of the new rules is about the patient’s control of their electronic health information, which contributes towards a patient-facing healthcare IT economy. Additionally, it helps to provide patient-specific price and product transparency.

As per the new rules, hospitals and doctors need to share the software access endpoints to the EHR databases so that patients can easily download these records whenever they need. Likewise, the standard plans to punish vigorously for data hindering, or hostile to serious conduct that makes issues in trading essential clinical information.

Certainly, these changes as per the new rules have a significant impact on the for providers, health IT vendors and health information exchanges. However, these rules won’t be able to bring an immediate impact in the industry, but it can create a tremor on the healthcare market in the long-term. These rules focus mainly on the patients and healthcare delivery in order to provide them data control and enable them to route it to whoever they want.

Key ways the ONC’s new rules for opening health record access and its impact the healthcare industry

Let us discuss the main changes that the industry stakeholders can expect from the new rules.

#1. Quick and easy access to healthcare data

The new rules by ONC will provide more power and control to the patients. They will be able to securely acquire and use the EMR systems for free by using the mobile application that they prefer. The EMR systems will have to enable the export of electronic health information (EHI) for individual patient’s data as a condition of health IT certification. It means that patients can download all the health information saved in the hospital’s EMR system. As per the ONC’s new rule, the EHR vendors have to enable and export all of the patient records when a health care provider is changing the health IT systems. It will develop the ability for providers to transfer EHR vendors more easily without any hassle.

2. Restriction towards blocking patient’s information

The new rule focuses more on safeguarding many important aspects like securing patient’s information blocking practices by the different authorities like providers of healthcare providers, vendors, health data exchanges, and the health details networks. The provision acts within six months.There were eight exceptions developed by ONC towards blocking of patient’s information to allow doctors and hospitals with the common-sense operational flexibility. It comprises securing privacy of the patients and managing the circumstances where shifting of patient data is not feasible.The health care providers can not go against the patient information blocking rule.

#3. Lack of guidelines on banning information blocking rule

According to the new rules set by the ONC, there are no specific guidelines for the information blocking banning. It does not cover the enforcement in the form of civil monetary penalties for those who block patient’s information. The rules need to be redefined with strong enforcement that will help them to send a strong message to the healthcare industry. Further, it will be easy for big health providing organizations to implement this rule with a greater benefit.

4. No sharing of EHR screenshots and videos

The ONC rules bring a big win for the doctors, health IT vendors, researchers in the form of no more compulsion of sharing screenshots and videos of their screens. The clinicians, researchers, and doctors earlier had emphasized that sharing screenshots of EHRs is critical in order to enhance usability and safety issues.In the present time there are many EHR contracts that include non-disclosure provisions that either prevent or are understood to protect users from sharing information related to the electronic health records, like screenshots or video and having a comprehensive discussion about the issues. As per the new rule empowers sharing of screenshots but also restricts screenshots or videos to only the information that’s necessary to communicate a health IT-related requirement.

5. Most probable EHR market disruptions

The digital healthcare and insurance companies are greatly benefited with the new rules by ONC. These digital health companies will now get better access to patient data, which was a hindrance and the payors will see improvements in care management. The new rules will result in very close blow for EHR vendors and hospitals. The time span to agree will require extra spending on the EHR merchant’s part. The health systems also face the costs of upfront implementation. Numerous partners accept the guidelines will fundamentally upset the EHR market. Predictions are being made that large healthcare companies that had relatively slow interoperability are certainly at high risk of  survival. There will be new market entrants and it will create fundamentally new models that threaten very large established companies in the space.

6. Shifting to mobile app economy will prioritize privacy

There are many stakeholders that favour the rules will be a boon to the technology-based companies, who are already catering new avenues in healthcare, as well as digital health companies. It will help to spur more transformation in healthcare as believed by the stakeholders. But the mobile apps will not need to follow the patient data blocking policies under ONC’s rule and are also not covered under HIPAA. Actually, it raises a major privacy concern about patients’ medical information and any kind of misuse of data.

Final thoughts

One of the biggest things to battle with as the law proposes is for doctors and clinicians to share everything with the patients. It should not be used by the doctors as it might cause emotional harm in case they are diagnosed with cancer. Hence, to ensure that the patients are not left feeling like they had to deal with traumatic diagnoses alone, the health system focuses on test results containing sensitive health news.

About Net Health

 

Net Health provides software and analytics for specialty medical providers across the continuum of care. Net Health’s interoperable solutions ensure compliance, improve outcomes, empower providers and inspire care. The company serves over 14,000 facilities, including 98 percent of the largest hospital chains, two-thirds of skilled nursing facilities and many leading hospice organizations and private practices. Net Health is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, Level Equity and Silversmith Capital Partners. www.nethealth.com.