For Patients, Knowledge is Power




An article in MedCityNews titled “For Patients, Knowledge is Power,” reviewed a recent address given by the former chief privacy officer for HHS, Joy Pritts. The article shares some of Ms. Pritts incredible insights on the movement toward more patient engagement in healthcare, and the proliferation of technologies being applied directly to this space.

As the former chief privacy officer for HHS, Ms. Pritts knows better than anyone the detailed, stringent policies regarding patient medical information disclosure under HIPAA. Additional recent policies to patient protections for electronic health records include California Assembly Bill 658. The bill’s stipulations add to HIPAA’s protection of personal medical information by establishing acceptable disclosure standards of confidential health information in mobile health apps (mHealth) in California.

And even while recognizing the many security and privacy requirements when handling medical data, former privacy officer Pritts explained that greater patient ownership over their own medical record is important for patients because “Knowledge is Power.”

In her address, she cited a temporary pilot program where 105 physicians from multiple hospital systems shared their notes electronically and securely with 19,000 patients. The study resulted in 99 percent of patients wanting to keep the information sharing program ongoing with their physicians.

According to this description, the study outcomes provided strong evidence for opening up information to patients as standard practice, which helps patients better understand their health and conditions.

We are excited that ImageInbox, which compresses, encrypts, and securely transfers diagnostic medical images (DICOM), enables patients to play a key role in bridging the information gap that exists in medical information communication. With ImageInbox, healthcare providers transparently share exam records and patients can securely store and share DICOM at a moments notice.

We agree with Ms. Pritts and all those recognizing that patient information exchange is truly powerful, and the time is now for patients to personally and privately manage their own electronic medical records.