Transitioning From Paper to Digital: State Statutory and Regulatory Frameworks for Health Information Technology
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OBJECTIVES: In all health system sectors, electronic health information (EHI) is created, used, released, and reused. We examined states' efforts to address EHI uses in law to provide an understanding of the EHI legal environment. METHODS: Attorney researchers used WestlawNext to search for EHI-related statutes and regulations of the US states, US territories, and the District of Columbia in effect as of January 2014. The researchers independently catalogued provisions by the EHI use described in the law. Researchers resolved discrepancies through peer review meetings and recorded the consensus codes for each law. RESULTS: This study identified 2364 EHI-related laws representing 49 EHI uses in 54 jurisdictions. A total of 18 EHI uses were regulated by ≥10 jurisdictions. More than 750 laws addressed 2 or more EHI uses. Jurisdictions varied by the number of EHI laws in effect, with a mean of 44 laws. Texas had the most EHI laws (n = 145). Hawaii and South Carolina had the fewest (n = 14 each). CONCLUSIONS: The EHI legal landscape is complex. The large quantity and diversity of laws complicate legal analysis, likely delay implementation of public health solutions, and might be detrimental to the development of emerging health information technology. Research is needed to understand the effect of EHI-related laws.
author list (cited authors)
Schmit, C., Sunshine, G., Pepin, D., Ramanathan, T., Menon, A., & Penn, M.