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Extending Role-based Access to Allied Health Professionals in the Community

 
6 allied health professionals standing

6 healthcare professional (HCProf) groups working in the community will be able to access the Electronic Health Record Sharing System (eHRSS) starting from the third quarter of 2019. Their access to patients’ records in the system will be governed by role-based access control (RBAC), a mechanism built in eHRSS to protect data privacy and security.

 
Under the eHRSS Ordinance (Cap. 625), 13 HCProf groups can access the electronic health records (eHRs) of participating patients in eHRSS. The access rights for these groups are being enabled in phases, with doctors, nurses (including midwives) and dentists among the first to access eHRSS at the initial launch of the system.
 

6 other groups, namely, pharmacists, medical laboratory technologists, occupational therapists, optometrists, radiographers and physiotherapists working in the Hospital Authority, the Department of Health and private hospitals, have also been given eHRSS access rights since September 2017. As at March 2019, more than 4 400 eHRSS accounts have been created for these groups of HCProfs.

With the smooth roll-out of RBAC at institutions, eHRSS access will gradually be extended to their counterparts in the community. HCProfs of these 6 groups working in community-based healthcare organisations that have joined eHRSS such as private clinics, elderly homes, radiology centres and laboratories, can access patients’ eHRs starting from the third quarter of 2019, upon obtaining patients’ sharing consents.

6 HCProf groups working on a electricity tree
Starting from the third quarter of 2019, 6 HCProf groups working in the community will be able to access eHRSS
 
send information to different HCProf groups
Access rights are pre-defined in accordance with the functions and clinical needs of different HCProf groups under RBAC
Stringent Control for Privacy and Security Protection
Patient privacy and data security have always been the top priorities in eHRSS operation. Allied HCProfs in the community will need to observe RBAC and other control measures when accessing eHRSS.
 
RBAC is an access security mechanism based on an HCProf’s role in an organisation. Under RBAC:
 
  •  
  different authorised HCProfs have different levels of access to the eHRs of a healthcare recipient (HCR);
  •  
  access rights are pre-defined in accordance with the functions and clinical needs of different HCProf groups;
  •  
  any access to an HCR’s eHRs must be based on the “patient-under-care” and “need-to-know” principles; and
  •  
  all accesses will be logged and are subject to audit and inspection.
 
Community-based allied HCProfs are reminded that patient’s sharing consent must first be obtained by the healthcare provider (HCP) they are working for before they could access the patient’s eHRs. As an enhanced privacy protection measure, if they need to access patient’s eHRs which are subject to restricted control, they need to obtain additional consent from the patient, and an additional notification will also be sent to the patient.
 
obtain additional consent for privacy protection measure
 
Requirements for Community-based HCProfs in Accessing eHRSS
Participation in eHRSS is on an HCP basis. To obtain eHRSS access, HCProfs with valid registration status can apply to the HCPs they are working for.
 
Basically an eHR-compatible computer system connected to the internet is sufficient for accessing eHRSS. HCProfs can choose either to install the Government-developed clinical management software, the CMS On-ramp which is compatible with eHRSS or a web-based portal which provides convenient access to eHRSS.
 
More details can be found at -
  •  
 

https://www.ehealth.gov.hk/en/healthcare_provider/registration/how_to_register.html
(HCP registration)

  •  
 

https://www.ehealth.gov.hk/en/healthcare_provider/registration/it_requirements.html
(Technical requirement)

  •  
 

https://www.ehealth.gov.hk/en/healthcare_provider/cms_on_ramp/cms_on_ramp_in_practice.html (CMS On-ramp)

  •  
 

https://www.ehealth.gov.hk/en/publicity_promotion/ehealth_news_17/allied_professionals.html (Sharing of Allied HCProfs)

 
E-Survey
To facilitate the implementation of eHRSS access for the 6 community-based allied HCProf groups, an E-Survey will be conducted to gauge their interest and the technical readiness of their practising organisations in joining eHRSS. Interested organisations may be invited to be our champion pilot users. Technical support will be provided.
 
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