Understanding HIPAA Laws and How They Relate to Your Access to Personal Health Records
For many people, being able to access their personal health records is a comforting thought. Not only to keep up to date with their own health, but to know what their providers have a hold of. Whether it be imaging, blood tests, prescribed medications, and more, personal health information (PHI) is visible on the provider end, but not many people know that they can get a hold of their records if they request them.
HIPAA, also known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 essentially protects the privacy and security of individuals’ identifiable health data. Upon request, hospitals and other health providers are required to provide access to the patients PHI. This access can come in two forms — paper or electronic. Moving forward, electronic copy requests will far surpass the amount of paper requests. According to HHS.gov, a health provider must provide a copy of electronic health records in the form that a patient requests them. If the records are not producible in the requested format, a provider must get the records into a format that is acceptable for the patient.
Because of these laws, many hospitals have started to construct patient health portals that can be transferred electronically in many different formats. In fact, patient portals are becoming the norm in the United States, and it is likely that almost every major provider will have sophisticated patient portals in the next few years. Because of this, we will likely see an increase in the amount of electronic health records requested, especially as it becomes more popular to do so.
NWP Solution’s app will eventually be a safe and secure storage spot for patients to request their health records be sent to. With blockchain technology being used, privacy is ensured. All that would be needed is an authorized request for personal health records to be sent to the app, and nearly all of your important personal medical information will be at a patients fingertips. This transition to electronic health records and ease of access to them is very promising and beneficial to both patients and providers!