San Diego hospitals to use opt-out patient consent for HIE

Three of the largest health systems in the San Diego area--Sharp Healthcare, Scripps Health and UC San Diego--will use the patient opt-out consent method for participating in the local health information exchange (HIE), San Diego Health Connect announced this week.

The HIE had been using the opt-in method, which was not working as well as had been hoped; only 300,000 patients had opted-in to the HIE as of March, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune article.  Patients now will be automatically enrolled in the HIE unless they decline. The change may affect more than 1 million patients, though it's not expected to occur until mid-summer, and patients can change their minds regarding their participation. 

Some privacy and security concerns have been raised about the HIE and HIEs in general; San Diego Health Connect says that its system contains safeguards to protect patient data. Article