ONC vendor search underway to examine patient e-consent

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) is looking for a vendor to review practices to obtain patients' informed consent for the recording and electronic exchange of their health information.

The vendor selected also is requested to use "innovative ways" to educate and inform individuals of their options to use individual choice in a clinical setting regarding that electronic exchange of their health data, according to a June 22 announcement in Federal Business Opportunities.

With the growing interest in electronic consent mechanisms--and considering the role of meaningful patient choice in the success of electronic health information exchange, the vendor will need to look carefully at numerous issues surrounding electronic consent, the ONC said in its announcement. The provider will be responsible for obtaining and tracking patient consent.

Research to date on this topic has been limited and, in particular, the educational component of electronic consent must be explored in more detail, ONC said. Therefore, it was critical to understand what information patients wanted and needed when making decisions about their personal health information--as well finding what they consider relevant for patient choice when it came to exchanging their health information in an electronic environment.

The anticipated contract period of performance will be for a 12-month base period plus one 12-month option period.

For more information:
- see the Federal Business Opportunities announcement
- view the Government Health IT article