Following the release of its Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) has made available a Personal Health Record (PHR) Model Privacy Notice for PHR vendors to use in communicating their data practices to individuals. The Model PHR Notice is intended to clearly set forth the privacy and security policies of a PHR vendor and how an individual's information will be used and disclosed.
Use of the Model PHR Notice is entirely voluntary and does not require a PHR vendor to adopt specific practices. Rather, the purpose is to provide transparency, and therefore, if adopted, a PHR vendor may not alter the form and format of the notice and must provide accurate information on its data practices and policies.
A key goal behind the Model PHR Notice is to promote trust in PHRs and competition on consumer-protective policies. Likened to the FDA's nutrition facts labeling, the Model PHR Notice is intended to empower individuals to make informed choices when comparing PHRs as well as enable PHR vendors to present information in an accessible and consistent manner. It is not, however, intended to replace more in-depth privacy notices.
ONC has made available an online form for PHR vendors to easily enter their information in order to populate the Model PHR Notice. In addition, guidelines are available for PHR vendors in implementing the Model PHR Notice and for individuals in understanding how to use the notice. For more information on the Model PHR Notice and to access the template, visit ONC's PHR Model Privacy Notice website.