Point and Counterpoint: Patient Control of Access to Data in Their Electronic Health Records

Kelly Caine, William M. Tierney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Information collection, storage, and management is central to the practice of health care. For centuries, patients’ and providers’ expectations kept medical records confidential between providers and patients. With the advent of electronic health records, patient health information has become more widely available to providers and health care managers and has broadened its potential use beyond individual patient care. Adhering to the principles of Fair Information Practice, including giving patients control over the availability and use of their individual health records, would improve care by fostering the sharing of sensitive information between patients and providers. However, adherence to such principles could put patients at risk for unsafe care as a result of both missed opportunities for providing needed care as well as provision of contraindicated care, as it would prevent health care providers from having full access to health information. Patients’ expectations for the highest possible quality and safety of care, therefore, may be at odds with their desire to limit provider access to their health records. Conversely, provider expectations that patients would willingly seek care for embarrassing conditions and disclose sensitive information may be at odds with patients’ information privacy rights. An open dialogue between patients and providers will be necessary to balance respect for patient rights with provider need for patient information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-41
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Electronic Health Records
Health
Health Personnel
Information Management
Access to Information
Foster Home Care
Information Dissemination
Quality of Health Care
Privacy
Information Storage and Retrieval
Patient Rights
Medical Records
Patient Care
Delivery of Health Care
Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

Cite this

Point and Counterpoint : Patient Control of Access to Data in Their Electronic Health Records. / Caine, Kelly; Tierney, William M.

In: Journal of General Internal Medicine, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2015, p. 38-41.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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