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The Impact of ONC’s Rule Changes on Accessing Health Records and What it Means for You

As new legislation is passed and rules are enacted to regulate the healthcare industry, it’s crucial to update healthcare compliance education to explain the changing environment. This is particularly important in the face of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) rule changes that were put in place in 2020 since they drastically altered the way information is shared between providers and patients.

At its core, the ONC’s rule change mandates that patients should be able to access their information and share it with third-party applications if they wish. Here are some of the ways that this change will impact the healthcare industry:Information Will Be Easier to Access

With the rise of telehealth, it’s become increasingly important for patients to access their information using third-party applications. The ONC has addressed this industry shift in its recent rule change, making it easier for patients to download and access their data.

Electronic health record (EHR) vendors will now be required to include a feature in all EHR systems where patients can download their health information by mandating this change. This means that healthcare providers can provide health record information for free under HIPPA regardless of which EHR vendor they use.
Information Blocking Will Be Banned

Under HIPPA, it’s required that healthcare providers have to furnish patient information within a specific timeframe, but some institutions have found ways to circumvent this. This process of delaying patients’ right to access information in a timely fashion is known as “information blocking.”

Under the new ONC rules, information blocking practices will be prohibited, with a few caveats. While the ONC does want patient information to be accessible and transferable to third-party applications, there are situations where it allows delays, such as ensuring the security of the patient information.
Screenshots Are Allowed

Many EHR systems do not allow for screenshots or video recordings of EHR screens due to the nondisclosure provisions they include in their terms of service. This prohibition has made it harder for patients to raise issues with their system interface.

Under the new rules, the ONC hopes to foster a better conversation around EHR system usability and privacy as some of the issues that can arise are often overlooked due to the original ban.

To find out more about how the ONC’s new rules impact the healthcare industry or for pricing on healthcare and medical eLearning solutions, call MedTrainer today!