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New law enables New York clinicians to access patient data for minors via state HIE

By Mike Miliard
Healthcare IT News
January 04, 2017

Care providers participating in HEALTHeLINK, a regional health information organization serving Western New York, can now access health data for patients who are between 10 and 17 years old, as long as those minors’ parents or legal guardians have signed consent forms.

The access to clinical information is allowed because of recent changes to state policy regarding access to patient data through qualified exchange entities such as the HEALTHeLINK, according to the group.

The law change “gives parents and legal guardians the peace of mind that their child’s treating pediatrician or specialist will have the most up to date health information,” HEALTHeLINK executive director Dan Porreca said in a statement.

For a minor who may see several physicians, enabling easier access to such patient data could help make for safer and more efficient clinical care, said Porreca, and also be helpful in instances when a child’s non-parental caregiver doesn’t have his or medical history readily available.

“Participating providers need to be aware that it is possible that the minor patient’s record may contain sensitive information that is protected under New York State law and may not be re-disclosed to the minor’s parent or guardian without the minor’s written consent,” Porreca noted.

That includes information about reproductive health services, mental health or substance use treatment, HIV testing and STD treatment.

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