ONC plans efforts to develop patient consent for exchange

By Mary Mosquera
11:11 AM

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT intends to conduct a consumer electronic consent pilot as part of advancing health information exchange.

The ability for patients to decide whether they should provide e-consent in situations that would trigger it is a step that can build trust in sharing their health data and accelerate exchange.

ONC is gauging vendor interest and experience in managing such a pilot, according to an announcement in Federal Business Opportunities.

A potential vendor would develop and evaluate how to obtain feedback on patient choice in health information exchange and create innovative ways to educate consumers about options they have in providing consent in a clinical setting, whether it is automated or determined through a decision process with their primary physician in which the patient is a knowledgeable participant. The potential vendor would partner with healthcare providers that exchange health information.

Interested vendors must respond by April 29, according to the announcement.

In another April 19 notice, ONC has expanded an existing contract with Lockheed Martin Services to include how options for privacy consent can become “a core part of future meaningful use requirements for trusted exchange” of electronic health records.

The work adds $1.26 million to a $5.3 million contract to develop and test an implementation model, or reference software, of the nationwide health information network (NwHIN), a set of standards and services that enables mostly large healthcare organizations to share information securely through the Internet.