Report: Patients must control their health info

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The primary stakeholder in healthcare, the patient, must retain control over personal health information, according to a white paper from Patient Privacy Rights (PPR), an Austin, Texas-based health privacy watchdog group.

The report is designed to be a primer on health privacy, and counters the arguments that patient control is too technically difficult, is too expensive or is too complex, among others. In fact, robust privacy-enhancing technologies are in use now that ensure both progress and privacy. Technology can enable control over personal health information today and likely simplify our systems and lower costs, according to the paper.

“Patients know what they want,” said Patient Privacy Rights founder Deborah Peel, MD. “It is a mistake to design health IT in a paternalistic manner—assuming a corporation, vendor, provider or government agency knows what is best for each individual patient.”

The paper is available here.