One state that has had to interact with changing health technology standards is Minnesota. According to an opinion piece written by psychiatrist Dr. Deborah Pollak Boughton for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the North Star State is attempting to promote interoperability and easy access to data by medical professionals in different fields. This is a new law that takes affect this year, but Dr. Boughton says that it follows on the heels of older legislation.
As an example of the facilities within the state that are taking initiative and using records as part of regular service, the Le Sueur News-Herald recently noted the effort made by the Minnesota Valley Health Center in that area.
This institution launched its online records software system last week and is orienting the health portal it uses towards patients as well as providers. Shared accounts intend to make managing health data easy for everyone. The article touts the security of this system, which has been reportedly been tested by "a professional hacker" for sturdiness.
Not surprisingly, security is an issue even in this region where records use could soon be more widespread. Dr. Boughton argues against the forced use of EHRs on the grounds that there is no guarantee of data safety.
"Confidentiality with the mandated EHR is supposedly guaranteed by passwords and encryption,' she writes. "Informed consent would mean that patients agree to allow health care data to be electronically posted online after weighing risks and benefits. In this day and age, how could we even begin to estimate the risk of storing very personal information online?"
However, matching the increased use of this software with sophisticated healthcare coding and consulting services could give practices more assurance that they are truly improving patient care and efficiency at the same time.