Government and Regulations

IHS Pilots Improved Version of Health Records

New IHS Personal Health Record will provide patients with better access to their medical records, although adopting improvements at facilities is optional.


The IHS is launching a pilot program intended to improve its current health information exchange. The new IHS Personal Health Record extends and revises the Resource and Patient Management System, which is in use at hundreds of health care facilities across the country.

Related: How Safe Are Patients’ Electronic Health Records?

The Personal Health Record will provide patients better access to their medical records, IHS says. Eligible patients who sign up for an account will be able to view their health information securely online, including laboratory results, and e-mail their health care team through the system. The IHS and participating Tribal and Urban Indian Health Program providers will also be better able to share their patients’ most accurate and recent health information.

Related: HHS Grants Fund Health IT in Communities

After the pilot, access to the Personal Health Record will be expanded to all patients receiving care at IHS direct service facilities operated by the U.S. federal government and participating facilities operated by Tribal organizations and Urban Indian Health programs. Facilities must sign an agreement to access the enhanced features of the IHS medical records system but can still use the previous IHS medical records system if they choose; adopting the improvements is optional.

Related: Getting Along With Electronic Technology—Safely

The IHS received $149 million in payments for successfully participating in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive program and was the first government system to certify its electronic health record.

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