New Mexico Electronic Medical Records Law Ensures Patient Privacy

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The New Mexico Senate passed an electronic medical record initiative of Governor Bill Richardson’s today that would protect patients’ privacy.

Sen. Peter Wirth sponsored SB 278, the Electronic Medical Records Act that would require security and privacy protections associated with the use of electronic medical records. The bill now heads to House committees.

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“I have supported moving from paper to electronic records as a way to reduce errors and control costs,” said Governor Richardson. “We also must protect the privacy of these records, and this bill accomplishes that.”

The Electronic Medical Records Act would allow individuals to request that their records be excluded from a record locator service and that the service provide a log indicating who has accessed a client’s medical record and for what purpose. The act would also establish electronic medical records systems as the legal equivalent of existing non-electronic medical records.

“We expect this legislation will encourage providers to use electronic records because they know their patients’ information is confidential,” Health Secretary Dr. Alfredo Vigil.

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