Setting the Stage for Electronic Patient Consent

Recently the federal government enlisted the help of our own Director of Application Development, Shula Turin, to weigh in on the landscape and challenges associated with electronic patient consent. Foothold Technology was among a select group of vendors asked to participate in a study by MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that conducts research and analysis on behalf of the United States government, and in this case, the ONC (The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology).

The conversation centered on Foothold’s approach towards developing the technology and processes by which provider agencies are able to obtain and manage consents electronically, touching on issues like the challenge of implementing e-signing capabilities in agencies, all the way to the nuts and bolts of segmenting Patient Health Information (PHI) in protected programs within Foothold’s AWARDS application.

When asked for comments, Shula spoke of the need for a more standardized approach for consent rules in regard to data exchanges, stricter definitions for sensitive issues such as “Break the Glass” overriding protocols, and more thought about how obscured PHI data should be acknowledged in a way that would help and not hinder a provider’s ability to treat a patient in a protected program at the time of care.

The conversation provided a good opportunity to share Foothold’s work in health information exchange, and validated the efficacy of our approach to developing our software–an approach grounded in our mission to support the needs of providers responsible for protecting and caring for patients in the securest way possible.