118.002 Health Information Technology – Electronic Health Records and Personal Health Records


Health Information Technology – Electronic Health Records and Personal Health Records: The Texas Medical Association supports voluntary universal adoption of health information technology (HIT) that supports physician workflow, increases practice efficiency, is safe for patients, and enhances quality of care. TMA believes HIT vendors should adhere to these principles.

Electronic Health Record Adoption

The Texas Medical Association:

  1. Supports legislation and other appropriate initiatives that provide positive incentives for physicians to acquire and maintain health information technology. 
  2. Supports the ability of the physician and patients to change HIT programs or vendors with minimal workflow and financial impact. Systems must have interoperability that allows movement of data between databases without the need for data conversion to ensure compatibility among all HIT systems.
  3. Supports appropriate financial, operational, and technical assistance from an inpatient facility and other entities for physicians who need help converting to and maintaining electronic health records (EHRs) when it does not unreasonably constrain the physician’s choice of which ambulatory EHR systems to purchase. 
  4. Promotes voluntary rather than mandatory sharing of protected health information (PHI) consistent with the patient’s wishes, as well as applicable legal, ethical, and public good considerations. 
  5. Supports the use of clinical checklists contained in EHRs to increase patient safety and decrease errors of omission. These checklists should allow for data entry by any member of the care team under the physician’s supervision, and be developed with appropriate quality guidelines as endorsed by nationally recognized medical specialty societies and quality improvement organizations. 
  6. TMA, where possible, will provide its members with up-to-date, accurate information enabling them to select HIT that improves the quality of their patients’ care, interoperates seamlessly with other automated clinical information sources, and enhances the efficiency and viability of their practices.

Personal Health Records

  1. TMA supports the use of personal health records (PHRs) by individuals and families.
  2. TMA supports the concept that patients should be able to use their PHR as a source of information regarding their medical status.
  3. PHRs need standardized formats that contain at minimum core medical information necessary to treat the patient.
  4. TMA supports legislative efforts directed at providing incentives to facilitate PHR use and maintenance. 
  5. Physicians should be able to access PHR-released information free of charge.
  6. TMA supports interoperability of PHRs allowing access to patient health information in patient care settings.
  7. TMA supports ensuring that the source of information in PHRs is clearly identifiable.

Access to Cost of Treatment Information

  1. Physicians should have simple and efficient access to cost information associated with potential treatments ordered.
  2. Physicians should have simple and efficient access to costs of treatments ordered that the patient will pay.

Patient Safety, Risk Management, and Liability

  1. Physicians’ current standards of practice should not be compromised by their use of EHRs. There is a degree of precision with EHRs that does not exist with the use of paper records. Physicians should not be held liable for innocent inconsistencies that occur within the EHR environment, for example a computer stamp versus a manual time entry by the physician.
  2. TMA supports efforts to hold HIT vendors accountable for developing processes, systems, and customer support that are responsive to patient safety concerns and proactively work to prevent and resolve patient safety concerns.
  3. TMA supports the development of a national “no fault” reporting system for errors and near-misses that occur through the use of EHRs to prevent unintended consequences.
  4. TMA supports the development and application of performance standards that are cognizant of the burden of data collection, particularly in the aggregation of multiple quality measures.
  5. TMA supports the study and evaluation of the potential impact that physician efforts directed towards compliance with unduly burdensome state and federal regulation may have on patient care. These new compliance burdens compete for the physician’s attended and limited resources and may distract the physician from patient care (Previously 265.012; Amended Res. 402-A-05; amended CPMS Rep. 3-A-07; substituted CPMS Rep. 2-A-10; amended CPMS Rep. 2-A-13; amended CPMS Rep. 1-A-14; amended CPMS Rep. 2-A-18).

Last Updated On

September 20, 2018