Proposal Gives Patients Access to Own Lab Results

Paige Winfield Cunningham | The Washington Times | September 12, 2011

Patients would be allowed direct access to lab results under a new rule proposed by the Obama administration that is part of a broader effort to nudge the health care industry away from paper-driven systems and toward technologies that make it easier to access and share records.

“I know you have all experienced the same frustration I’ve certainly experienced,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, speaking at a health IT summit on Monday. “Going into a doctor’s office and being presented with the blank clipboard as if you arrived from Mars once again and had to start all over once again introducing yourself.”

Mrs. Sebelius was outlining frustrations patients commonly face in an industry where just roughly 20 percent of hospitals and 10 percent of doctors store records electronically, even though the first electronic models were developed in the 1960s...