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eHRSS Made Easy

Electronic Health Record Sharing System Made Easy

With the Electronic Health Record Sharing System (eHRSS) just coming on stream, the Electronic Health Record Office (eHR Office) has prepared a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address people’s common concerns over the new system from healthcare providers (HCP) and healthcare recipients (HCR) respectively.

The FAQ covers registration, the legal aspect, data privacy and system security of the eHRSS.
Healthcare Provider
eHRSS Registration
eHRSS Registration
I have my own clinic and I am also a visiting medical officer (VMO) of some private hospitals, what should I do in order I can view patients’ eHR in both places?
eHRSS registration is HCP-based, which meansonly healthcare professionals (HCProfs) working for the HCP could view the eHR on a need-to-know basis. If you are the owner of a clinic, it is advisable that the clinic (e.g. ABC Clinic) should be registered as a HCP. If you wish to access eHR in another HCP (e.g. a private hospital), you will need the respective HCP to allow you to use its computer system (e.g. open a user account for you).
We are a group practice with clinics all over Hong Kong. Is it possible that only some of the clinics join the eHRSS?
A HCP can apply to the Commissioner for the Electronic Health Record (eHRC) to register all or some of the healthcare institutions / clinics providing care under its supervision to participate in eHR sharing.
Is it essential for HCPs to provide eHR patient registration service?
The eHR Office anticipates that some HCPs, especially those in solo practice or small group practice, would not be able to provide eHRSS patient registration service. HCPs can inform patients to register with the eHRSS online, by mail or fax, via the drop-in box at eHR Registration Office, or in person at their nearby eHR Registration Centres.
My clinic has participated in the Public Private Interface – Electronic Patient Record Sharing Pilot Project (PPI-ePR) and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programmes, but we do not want to join the eHRSS at the moment. Can I still access the PPI-ePR and look after my existing PPI and PPP patients when the eHRSS is launched?
The PPI-ePR will continue to run for a period of time after the eHRSS is launched. During the transitional period, and if you have not joined the eHRSS:
a)   You can still access the health records of existing PPI-ePR and PPP patients.
b)   You will not be able to access health records of new patients who have joined the eHRSS after the eHRSS launch.
What if I have joined the eHRSS but my existing PPI-ePR / PPP patients have not joined the eHRSS after the eHRSS launch?
a)   The PPI-ePR will continue to run for a period of time after the eHRSS is launched.
b)   During the transitional period, you can still access the health records of existing PPI-ePR and PPP patients who have not joined the eHRSS. Only data from the Hospital Authority (HA) will be shared.
c)   Once your existing PPI-ePR / PPP patients have joined the eHRSS and provided sharing consent to your HCP, you will be able to access their health records shared from other HCPs for whom the patients have given sharing consent.
Legal Concerns
Legal Concerns
What is my legal liability if I miss some relevant information in the eHRSS when caring for my patients?
eHR participation is voluntary for HCPs and HCProfs. There is no mandatory requirement for a HCProf to join the eHRSS or read all information in a patient’s record in the eHRSS. HCProfs shall exercise professional judgement to interpret the information in the eHRSS and consider what information shall be accessed for reference purpose.
Is it essential to share data and is there any legal liability for not sharing data if I have joined the eHRSS?
There is no obligation for HCPs to share their patients’ records which are not electronically readily available for sharing. It is not an offence under the eHRSS Ordinance (eHRSSO) for not sharing data. However, it is a deviation from the conditions of participation. It is advisable for HCPs to consider implementing or upgrading their electronic medical record (eMR) systems for sharing more data within the sharable scope. There are free eMR packages available for the private sector to enable the sharing of information through the eHRSS. The eHR Office also works with major vendors of clinic software to support data uploading.
Is there any high risk of legal liability after joining the eHRSS as the eHRSSO has introduced offences for misusing eHR?
No. The offences mostly deal with unauthorised access to eHR, causing damage or impairing the system with malicious intent, or using eHR for direct marketing purpose.
Healthcare Recipient
eHRSS Registration for Recipient
eHRSS Registration
How can I participate in the eHRSS?
The eHRSS was launched on 13 March 2016. By then, HCRs can voluntarily register in person at the eHR Registration Centres. Alternatively they can submit the registration form online, by post or fax 3467 6099 to the eHR Registration Office, or via drop-in-box at the eHR Registration Office. Registration form and the address of the eHR Registration Centres are available at the eHRSS website at www.ehealth.gov.hk.
Privacy and Security
Privacy and Security
How will my eHR be protected?
Protection of patient data privacy and system security are of paramount importance in developing the eHRSS. In addition to the various technical measures to be put in place (e.g. data encryption, firewalls, identity authentication of patients and healthcare professionals) and the legal protection currently provided under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap.486), we have also formulated the eHRSS Ordinance (Cap. 625) to help safeguard the privacy and security of the eHRSS and its data. Besides, Privacy Impact Assessment and Security Risk Assessments and Audits have been conducted prior to the launching of the eHRSS, and a Privacy Compliance Audit is planned to be conducted some time after launching.
How can my medical record be shared in the eHRSS?
Upon successful registration, you need to give sharing consent to individual HCPs registered with the eHRSS for them to access your medical record under the sharable scope in the eHR sharing platform. All your records in the HA, the Department of Health (DH) and registered HCPs that you have given consent will be shared.
Who can access my eHR?
Only staff members working under HCPs who are providing healthcare to you will be allowed to access your health information with your sharing consent given to the HCPs and on a need-to-know basis. Any access must fulfil the need-to-know and patient-under-care principles. All access activities will be logged and you will receive notifications through the communication means you chose whenever your eHR is accessed.
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