EHRs can compromise privacy of info between parents, teens

Electronic health records provide many benefits, but they can also threaten the confidentiality of patient health information between parents and their adolescent children, according to a viewpoint article published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The authors, from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, point out that unlike paper records, EHRs often aggregate information of family members, which increases the possibility of disclosure to parents of a teen's medical information that the teen may want kept private, as well as the possibility of disclosure to the teen of information that the parents may wish to keep private.

Parents have access to an adolescent's records until the age of 18, except in certain circumstances; minor adolescents can obtain some healthcare services, such as treatment for pregnancy prevention or drug abuse, without parental consent. Article