Developing a Standardized Request and Authorization Protocol for Electronic Patient Records


Although most electronic health record systems enable patients to receive their health information in electronic format, providers typically do not offer this option on forms patients use to request their records. Additional hurdles accessing health information result from concerns over the security of electronic signatures and lack of consistency across data-request forms. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is developing a model record-request form, but its design is informed more by the needs and preferences of AHIMA's members-medical-record outsourcing firms-than those of patients. The prototype also does not address the process for handling different types of data requests, which providers and health systems typically do not know how to navigate. Experts with X4 Health, a firm focused on accelerating innovation in the field of patient and family engagement, will create a standardized electronic health record request and authorization protocol for consumers and their designees. The project team will reengineer AHIMA's model form through a consumer-centered design process to ensure users will be able to understand their options, the information they are requesting, and what they are authorizing others to receive. Similarly, the team will develop a model workflow for fulfilling patient data requests that satisfies the needs of patients and health systems. The reconfigured model form and improved workflow processes will be vetted by health systems, app developers, medical record vendors, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Creating Access to Real-time Information Now (CARIN) Alliance (a multisector collaborative to advance consumer-directed exchange of health information), and AHIMA. These new tools will help consumers understand their rights to their electronic health data and make it easier for them to request this information. In addition, health systems will have a streamlined process for sharing electronic health data with their patients.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
X4 Health, Inc.
Principal Investigator:
Christine Bechtel, M.A.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
July 11, 2017

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