Behavioral health has historically been an exception to the electronic sharing of data due to federal privacy rules regarding potentially sensitive information. Modern Healthcare brought this news to our attention in their article, “Cerner using metadata tagging to help share patients’ medical records.”

However, by using metadata tagging for privacy, one provider has built a bridge between that island and the mainland of healthcare providers. Cerner’s capability for the transfer of medical records remains rudimentary, limited to sending and receiving records via e-mail in the Continuity of Care Document format and limited to only transactions between providers using Cerner products.

A clinician in a hospital with a Cerner electronic health record (EHR) can go to his or her e-mail folder to open and receive the message, as long as the patient remains in the Cerner provider system. It is a small step and as technology becomes more secure and the paranoia level reduces, more advances are expected.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.