GAO Issues Report on Patient Access to Health Information
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) (03/17/17)
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report titled "Health Information Technology: HHS Should Assess the Effectiveness of Its Efforts to Enhance Access to and Use of Electronic Health Information." The report — requested by a group of U.S. senators including John Thune (R-S.D.) and HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) — found that while providers routinely make electronic health information available to patients and caregivers as required by the Meaningful Use Program, only a relatively small percentage actually access the available data. The recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) include developing performance measures to evaluate "outcomes of key efforts related to patients' electronic access to health information" and "using the information from these measures to help achieve program goals." HHS has indicated its endorsement of the GAO's recommendations.