Giving Patients Control of Their EHR Data

From Clinfowiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a review of David Blumenthal and David Squires’ (2015) article, Giving Patients Control of Their EHR Data. [1]


Should patient have control of who can view, access, and use their electronic health records (EHR)? The authors believe that patients should have full control of who can access and use their information as well as determining what information is recorded on their EHR. The federal government encourages privacy, transparency and accountability with healthcare information. Patients need to be very involved in the healthcare decisions this is reflected in the Fair Information Practice Principles In this article, the authors talk about why patients should have full control, the limitations, and also suggestions on how patient can better control their data.


The authors believe patients should have full control of their own health information even if it will interfere with the patient's well being. Providers should respect the patient’s wishes and their right to control their health because patients are the only person that can make the best judgment for their own health.

Exceptions and Limitations

If patients control who and what can be accessed from their medical charts, they cannot hold the clinicians accountable for any negative outcomes with their care because certain information was withheld. Also, if the health of others is affected, then patients should not have control of their health data. For example, a patient with Ebola cannot restrict access to that information. [1]


There should be training and education for clinicians and patients to learn more about patient health information. By educating patients about how their health data are used and shared, patients are more likely to make informed decisions of their own medical data.


Patients should have control over their own health information. However, it is very important to educate and inform patients on how their information is used so that they can make the best decision for their own well-being.


Initially, when I started reading this article, I thought that patients should not have full control over their own health data because if they refuse to share crucial health information, it can be dangerous for their health? However, after understanding the authors reasoning, I too have to agree that patients have a right to control their own data and health. But it is important for patients to be properly informed so that they can see what options they have. Read: Patient Health Records


  1. 1.0 1.1 Blumenthal, D., Squires, D. (2015). Giving Patients control of their EHR data. Retrieved from