Patients won't see docs' EHR edits after bill's revision

Addressing concerns expressed by hospital and healthcare provider groups, a bill--passed by the California Senate earlier this month to make it easier for patients to examine their electronic health records (EHRs) when modifications were made--saw substantial changes when it came under consideration by the state Assembly.

The bill (SB 850), passed by the Assembly Health Committee last week, still calls for providers to keep a log of all changes made in EHRs--but patients won't see that information when they request their records, as the original bill had intended, reports California Watch.

Organizations such as the California Hospital Association had expressed displeasure with the initial bill's provisions--particularly over added complexities and costs. In a letter to the bill's sponsor, Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), CHA had cautioned that costs to revise vendor systems to meet the proposed requirements "will result in millions of dollars of programming changes to systems already installed" in hospitals--creating "major delays to hospital EHR system projects awaiting implementation."

CHA said it is now neutral on the amended bill, according to California Watch.

What's more, bill supporters reportedly said that other proposals were made to meet the concerns of providers. One idea was considered to insert an asterisk into the EHR--indicating that a change was made, rather than requiring an entire change be included in the record. However, one healthcare group--Kaiser Permanente--would not support it.

For more information:
- see the California Watch article
- view the California Healthline article