The Health IT Policy Committee of the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT released its proposed Stage 3 objectives for Meaningful Use.  “Eligible Providers” that meet these objectives share in the federal electronic health record incentive program under the HITECH Act.  (Learn more at HealthIT.gov; here’s some more background on the Stage 1 Meaningful Use regs.)

The Committee wrote that it saw the release of these draft objectives as an opportunity “to begin to transition from a setting-specific focus to a collaborative, patient- and family-centric approach.”

The Society for Participatory Medicine filed comments on the draft Meaningful Use  Stage 3 objectives (PDF), saying: “We endorse the proposals that further this goal, and offer some focused recommendations intended to ensure that the final regulations are in fact designed to help achieve this goal.”

One of the key issues presented in this draft is the opportunity afforded to patients to correct misinformation in their medical records.  The Society’s comment:

We feel that patients should be involved in amending, reconciling, and correcting errors in their medical records. Making this possible will require EHRs that support patient assistance, patient portals or other mechanisms for patients to do this online, and workflow tools for both providers and patients. We propose that ONC establish additional working groups or technical expert panels to study these issues and establish relevant standards.

The Society also responded to the Committee’s request for information on the use of patient-generated data, endorsing its use, and noting that: “The patient is the most highly qualified expert on his or her own health, and his or her own experience of the health care system.”

I invite you to peruse the proposal and comment letter linked to above. Again, the perspective on these matters espoused by the U.S. government agency is that we need to focus on enabling provider-patient collaboration. The Society approves.

A special thanks to Adrian Gropper, M.D., of the Society’s Public Policy Committee, and to the members of the Society’s Executive Committee, for their contributions to the review and comment process.

David Harlow is a health care lawyer and consultant at The Harlow Group LLC, and chairs the Society for Participatory Medicine’s public policy committee.  You should follow him on Twitter: @healthblawg

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