A statewide electronic health records program must be more transparent and offer patients more privacy protections. That’s the result of a suit brought by the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU sued the Rhode Island Department of Health in 2010 to get the department to spell out, publicly, how it would help patients with grievances about its new statewide electronic health records database, CurrentCare. The ACLU charged that the department hadn’t adopted clear enough or public enough procedures to allow patients to remove or change their own records from CurrentCare, among other options. A consent decree issued in the state superior court in Providence orders the health department to adopt such new procedures.
Health department director Michael Fine said he welcomed the ACLU's help in protecting patient privacy.
The idea behind CurrentCare is to enable health care providers to access a patient’s medical records anywhere, especially in an emergency. Participation is by consent only.