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Comments Needed to Improve Patient Data Collection

Comments Needed to Improve Patient Data Collection

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has proposed a regulation to require electronic health record systems to document and use disaggregated data on race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, and social and behavioral factors that influence health. This data will make it easier to identify disparities and achieve health equity. 

The regulation would require up to 900 race and ethnicity categories and up to 600 language categories, the first time that any federal department has required comprehensive disaggregation. This also would be the first time that sexual orientation and gender identity data would be routinely collected.
 
Public comments supporting this proposed regulation are needed. Please submit yours today! 
While comments submitted by organizations are important, it also is very important for individual members of the public to submit personalized comments.
 
Please submit your comments online no later than 2 pm PT on May 29, 2015. Click on the blue "Comment Now!" button on the top right of the page. You can either type in your comments or upload a file from your computer.
 
You can use these key messages to guide your comments.

  • I support the proposed regulation requiring electronic health record systems to document and use disaggregated, granular data categories for patients’ race, ethnicity, and language.
     
  • As a patient and individual concerned about health equity and reducing racial and ethnic health disparities, it is essential that disaggregated, granular data about race, ethnicity, and language be documented in electronic health records to improve health care quality and reduce health disparities.
     
  • Many communities face greater risk for certain chronic conditions like asthma. By collecting more detailed data, we can develop culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies for targeting these inequities.
     
  • I also support the proposed regulation requiring electronic health record systems to document patients’ sexual orientation, gender identity, and social and behavioral factors that influence health status, and support making these requirements mandatory for all electronic health record systems. I also support technical changes in the proposed categories for sexual orientation and gender identity consistent with the recommendations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health care providers and community advocates.
     
  • As a patient from [or ally of] the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, it is very important to me that my health care providers can document this demographic information in my electronic health record and can use that information to reduce health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations.

Submit your comments today!

Reference
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for 2015 Health Information Technology Certification Criteria, 80 Fed. Reg. 16804-16921 (March 30, 2015)
www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-03-30/pdf/2015-06612.pdf

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