Health Record Banks a Platform for Health Information Exchange

Consumer Control of Health Records Essential to Health Information Exchange

The Health Record Banking Alliance (HRBA) yesterday released a White Paper showing how consumer controlled health records,compiled and stored in secure repositories, can become the platform for affordable nationwide exchange of health information. The White Paper explains how this HIE (Health Information Exchange) architecture, using the Direct Project (secure messaging) connectivity protocols, supports a variety of sustainable business models. The repository architecture supporting health record banks thus overcomes financial and related technical barriers to current federal and state government attempts at HIE systems in the US.

While states and regions struggle to finance sharing of health records that excludes or limits consumer involvement, the Health Record Banking Alliance (HRBA) details in the White Paper how consumer control of their own records in a secure and private, bank‐like system is relatively inexpensive to build and operate, and lays a foundation for new value and innovation that can even produce jobs in our current slow economy. In the past year, both the Department of Health and Human Services and the Bipartisan Policy Center have issued papers supporting further exploration and expansion of what is called “consumer-­‐mediated exchange,” which categorizes the Health Record Banking approach described in the White Paper.

William Yasnoff, MD, PhD,founder and president of the HRBA, and former senior advisor to the Department of Health & Human Services on National Health Information Infrastructure, stated, “Hundreds of efforts around the country to share information between unaffiliated providers continue to fail.Their technical architectures and lack of consumer control greatly limit their value, and thus their potential business models. This paper lays out the foundational analysis of cost and value that existing businesses, providers,employers, governments, health information organizations,and others can use to create new, sustainable electronic medical record sharing businesses that will literally transform healthcare worldwide. No other approach can readily assure comprehensive records when and where needed to improve health care quality.”

Building on existing in-­depth analyses by experts at Partners HealthCare and published by HIMSS, the white paper concludes that a nationwide system of Health Record Banks could be built for less than 3% of the estimated costs of current models. Furthermore, Health Record Banks enable new apps to be created to serve the needs of patients, providers, public health and researchers, all while consumers control their own records.

Brad Tritle, one of the paper’s authors, and a consultant to health information exchanges, stated “All the state health information exchanges are looking for ways to sustain themselves, and a growing number are also trying to figure out how to engage consumers. This paper not only shows the lower costs of building Health Record Banks, but suggests that a platform containing patients’ own records under their control could spawn incredible technology-based economic development through the building of health and wellness apps. We think health care cost savings, while important, could be minor compared to the new value created. Others are thinking about this and looking for guidance, and our hope is that this paper will give them the direction needed to move forward.

Download and read the white paper.

About the Health Record Banking Alliance
The Health Record Banking Alliance is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to:

  • Promoting community repositories under consumer control as an effective and sustainable solution for electronic health information
  • Providing assistance to communities building health record banks
  • Promoting necessary legislation & regulation consistent with community health record banks.

Health Record Banking Alliance can be found on the Web at To learn more about the organization or to arrange for an interview, please contact Jim Hayden, (602) 803‐5000.