Dossia CEO calls for patient access to their own health data

Dossia CEO Colin Evans

The real barrier to adoption of personal health records is not privacy and security, but rather the unwillingness of healthcare data sources to give consumers control over their health information, Dossia CEO Colin Evans told a government panel recently.

Dossia, a personal health platform provider, said that in response to the ONC's request for comments on the current state of personal health records, the organization has released a document discussing the issues related to PHRs.

Evans delivered his comments on a panel called "Origins, Developments, Privacy and Security Practices."

HIPAA and ARRA legislation give patients the right to an electronic copy of their personal health information in the format of their choosing, Evans noted. As a critical next step, ONC and Federal Trade Commission regulations must make it a priority to ensure that healthcare consumers have access to and control over their electronic personal health information.

 "HHS and FTC have two roles," said Evans. "The first is to support the privacy rights of patients by ensuring that those in possession of protected information keep it confidential. But the second is to ensure that health plans and providers and other healthcare companies don't wave the banner of privacy as a spurious means to stifle competition or interfere with patient rights in the interest of their business."

"The real problem is not privacy and security," said Evans, "but patient access to their own information."

Dossia was created in 2006 by Applied Materials, AT&T, BP America, Inc., Cardinal Health, Intel, Pitney Bowes, sanofi-aventis, Vanguard Health Systems, Abraxis BioScience and Walmart. The companies came together to achieve the common goal of empowering individuals to improve their health and healthcare, by giving them access to and control over their personal health information. Dossia is dedicated to transforming the current healthcare system and furthering healthcare consumerism in the United States today.