AHIMA concerned about changes to federal e-discovery rules

The American Health Information Management Association commented last week on proposed changes to federal e-discovery rules they say will have a large impact on HIM professionals. "Today's U.S. healthcare delivery system is facing unprecedented changes, which are propelled by federal initiatives that we believe will foster an increase in the number of e-discovery requests," AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon wrote. "These changes include the widespread adoption of EHR systems and the establishment of the Nationwide Health Information Network Exchange. … Although there has been rapid growth in the installation of EHR systems, information and data governance and e-discovery in healthcare are still in the early stages."

Gordon said AHIMA would like to see more clarity with regard to definitions of "willful" and "bad faith" destruction of evidence.

"Medical malpractice cases are very complex litigation matters and will become even more so as the unintended consequences related to the widespread adoption of EHRs and establishment of our nation's new health information infrastructure increase," Gordon said. Letter (.pdf)

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