The American Medical Association (AMA) now offers newly developed online educational resources to help physicians navigate the complex federal regulation aimed at ending information-blocking practices that impede access, exchange or use of patients’ electronic health information.
The federal regulation from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) took effect on April 5 and implements the interoperability provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act to promote patient control over their own health information.
“The AMA supports the Cures Act’s purposes to increase information sharing between patients and physicians, improve patient care, and ensure electronic health information follows patients, said AMA Immediate Past Chair Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., M.P.H. “However, the regulation is complex with dozens of exceptions, sub-exceptions, and conditions. Physicians can turn to the AMA resources for reliable help that explains what the new rule means for them and their medical practices.”
The AMA has released a new continuing medical education module titled “Information Blocking Regulations: What to know and how to comply” that is accessible through the AMA Ed Hub™ online learning platform. This educational resource explains the new federal regulation on information blocking, identifies which exceptions to use and when, and indicates best methods to comply with regulation and incorporate in practice.
The AMA has also issued a two-part online resource for physicians on the information blocking rule that takes a deeper dive into integrating data sharing into medical practices and making medical records more easily available to patients.
- Part one—What is information blocking?—defines information blocking, outlines key terms, illustrates information blocking practices and a summarizes exceptions.
- Part two—How do I comply with info blocking and where do I start?—provides a roadmap for compliance, including questions to consider, factors for maintaining a compliance program and next steps.
The new information blocking resources join resources already available from the AMA’s Patient Access Playbook. Launched by the AMA in Feb. 2020, the playbook compiles an extensive authoritative catalogue of educational information and reference resources with practical tips, case scenarios, and best practices for protecting patients’ privacy while empowering patient access to their electronic medical records.
For over a decade the AMA has advocated for the fundamental right of patients to access their own medical information, and the AMA continues to guide physicians and their staff on best practices for providing patients with electronic medical records access as a step toward improving the overall efficiency of the medical care team.