SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Kevin Benedict, Gilad Parann-Nissany

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The University of Texas at Austin and Jericho Systems Launch National Pilot to Advance Patient Control Over Shared Medical Records

Two Texas groups, the Health Information Technology (Health IT) Program at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) and Jericho Systems Corporation will participate in a national pilot program designed to explore advanced patient control over shared medical records. The pilot, which was recently approved by members of an Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) working group, will focus on how patients can better control the release of their Protected Health Information (PHI) when their medical records are requested electronically from their healthcare provider.

The pilot will simulate the exchange of electronic medical records through a commonly used Internet specification called the eHealth Exchange (once known as the Nationwide Health Information Network Exchange). The simulated exchange will be augmented by adding a centralized repository where virtual patients can specify conditions under which their PHI can be electronically shared. The pilot also will explore how requests for a patient’s PHI can be reported back to the patient so that each patient can be aware of who is asking for their medical information.

By participating in the pilot, UT Austin’s Health IT faculty and students will gain valuable experience through proof of concept testing a centralized, consent directive repository that enables granular privacy control by the consumer over their electronic medical record.

“We view this pilot as an opportunity for our students and faculty to experience and contribute to the important process of developing standards-based, privacy controls that will be required to protect consumers’ medical data as access requests continue to escalate,” commented Dr. Leanne Field, director of UT Austin’s Health IT program. “In addition, by partnering with Jericho Systems and other participants in the pilot, our students will benefit from participating in applied research and will have the opportunity to develop real-world skills.”

Healthcare consumers currently cannot easily review electronic requests submitted remotely on the eHealth Exchange for their PHI or learn the outcome of those requests. The pilot will add transparency to the PHI exchange process by reporting each time that PHI has been released by the consumer's provider organization to requesting organizations. In addition, knowledge of who is trying to access PHI may also help future patients to identify possible medical identity theft or cases of mistaken identity that could impact their subsequent treatment.

UT Austin’s Health IT program and Jericho Systems are strong advocates of transforming the nation’s health IT system so that health professionals and researchers can electronically access complete and accurate health information. The experiences gained through proof of concept testing and validation of new technologies that strengthen patients’ control over their PHI will allow both organizations to join with other thought leaders to advance this critical area of health IT.

“With years of engagement with the healthcare standards community, Jericho is proud to support the ONC and advance the next generation of secure medical information exchange technology," said Brynn Mow, CEO of Jericho Systems.

Jericho Systems’ EnterSpace Exchange™ and EnterSpace Decisioning Service software were recently included in a SAMHSA-VA Phase I healthcare pilot of a “push” ecosystem, conducted at the Health Level Seven (HL7) Working Group on behalf of the ONC Data Segmentation for Privacy DS4P pilot working group.

About Jericho Systems Corporation

Dallas-based Jericho Systems Corporation provides enterprise-scalable access control, decisioning, and privilege management solutions, with its largest customers representing the healthcare, Department of Defense, intelligence, and homeland security communities. Jericho specializes in fine-grained, policy-based data filtering technology that supports dynamic, attribute-based access control (ABAC). Jericho’s EnterSpace Exchange PatientPortal™ was recognized as a “Best Privacy Technology of 2012” at the Second International Summit on the Future of Health Privacy.

EnterSpace Technology® is covered by United States patents 7,779,247, 7,792,828, 8,060,504, and 8,438,159. For more information or to arrange a product demonstration, please call 972-231-2000, email [email protected], or visit www.jerichosystems.com.

This work is supported by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) under Grant No. W81XWH-13-C-0116.

About The University of Texas at Austin Health IT Program

The Health IT Program at The University of Texas at Austin is comprised of a unique combination of state-of-the-art facilities and focused educational programs including the nine-week certificate program designed to “fast track” university graduates into the rapidly evolving field of health IT.

The facilities include a health IT learning center where students develop hands-on skills with six electronic health record (EHR) software systems, and an advanced telemedicine system. The recently launched HIE laboratory, funded by the Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology, is a collaboration between the university’s Health IT program and two major corporate HIE software vendors, Information Corporation of America (ICA) and Orion Health, together with two leading Electronic Health Record (EHR) software companies, eClinicalWorks and e-MDs. This “first in the nation” HIE laboratory not only allows students to engage with the latest HIE technologies, but also has the potential to serve as a vender-neutral test site for the evaluation of emerging HIE standards, and as a center for applied research to study the development and implementation of “best practices” for state and nationwide health information exchange.

The Health IT certificate program includes a comprehensive curriculum of healthcare policy, economics, technology, data systems and business practices and gives students an opportunity to carry out applied research projects. The program’s curriculum was designed to meet the skills and workforce training requirements identified by major health IT industry and healthcare sponsors of the certificate program.

For more information on The University of Texas at Austin Health IT Program, please go to: https://healthit.cns.utexas.edu.

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