New state policy allows doctors access to younger patients’ electronic health data - The Buffalo News

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New state policy allows doctors access to younger patients’ electronic health data

A change in state policy now allows participating providers to securely access data through Western New York’s clinical information exchange for patients ages 10 to 17.

Access requires a parent or legal guardian signing an affirmative HEALTHeLINK consent form on behalf of the minor patient.

[RELATED STORY: Read a profile of HEALTHeLINK leader Dan Porreca]

“This change in state policy gives parents and legal guardians the peace of mind that their child’s treating pediatrician or specialist will have the most up to date health information,” HEALTHeLINK Executive Director Dan Porreca said in a news release. “For a child who may see several different physicians, having access to this information will allow for better, more efficient care decisions. It is also helpful in those instances when the child’s grandparent or another caregiver brings them for an appointment and they do not have the child’s medical history readily available.”

Providers need to be aware that such records may contain sensitive information protected under state law that may not be disclosed to a parent or guardian without the minor’s written consent, Porreca said. These services include, but may not be limited to, reproductive health services, mental health or substance use treatment, HIV testing and STD treatment or services consented to by an emancipated minor.

Parents or legal guardians can complete the consent process on behalf of their child at a participating HEALTHeLINK provider’s office or download the form at wnyhealthelink.com. More than 870,000 adults in the region have completed a consent form.

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