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Patient Portal and PHR Info
PHR's and Patient Portals Examined

Proxy Access to Other Medical Records: 7 of 10 Critical Features of Patient Portals


Many folks use phr’s and patient portals to manage the care of their family members.  Proxy access is a great tool for mom’s and dad’s that want more control over their children’s health care.  With proxy access to a child’s record you can message a physician or schedule an appointment on behalf of the child, in addition to being able to review their medical record.  This feature should not only be limited to children.  Others prefer proxy access in order to better control and understand their elderly parents care too.  Whatever the case, you will want this feature because most of the time when proxy is requested and needed the ones whose records are being shared are not capable of logging in themselves.


When you roll out your patient portal you will get a lot of requests each day from patients wanting proxy access to family.  It is crucial that your vendor provides an easy, efficient, and electronic way to handle and process these requests.  The access itself should also be configurable because some age groups have strict laws that protect what their proxies can see.  The best example of this is when parents get proxy to their teenage children.  The teenagers have a right to privacy in most states and it is illegal to show things like clinical information related to reproductive health, even to parents.  If your vendor does not allow you to filter certain pieces of data when rolling out proxy access, you should question whether to turn it on at all…especially for teens.  You could get into hot water if someone viewed information in a way that violates your state laws.

Questions to Ask

To Vendors

Can I filter what features are available to someone viewing someone else’s record via proxy access?

What tools do you have to facilitate and work proxy requests from patients?

Do patients have the option to control who has proxy access to their record?

Can patients control what features are available to proxies manually?

Is information viewed via proxy access audit-able?

For Patients

Can I control who has access to my record through the patient portal?

Can I control what features are available to those users who do have proxy?

Can I request proxy access electronically through the portal or do I have to fill out paperwork and mail or fax?

Posted by Aaron Carlock on October 29th, 2009 :: Filed under Choosing a Patient Portal
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