David J. Kearney

March 14, 2013

E-Discovery and Electronic Records: Healthcare Resource Guide to e-Discovery and Electronic Records

Filed under: e-Discovery,Litigation Support,Management — David J. Kearney @ 9:47 am

Book Review: E-Discovery and Electronic Records

By David Kearney

Law Technology News

March 13, 2013

E-Discovery and Electronic Records book cover
Image: American Health Information Management

With electronic records becoming standard and government audits and litigation being common in the healthcare industry, two disciplines are merging. The healthcare industry, with its own unique set of regulations and industry standards such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the American Health Information Management Association, and e-discovery.

E-Discovery and Electronic Records: Healthcare Resource Guide to e-Discovery and Electronic Records, by Kimberly Baldwin-Stried Reich, Katherine Ball, Michelle Dougherty, and Ronald Hedges, merges e-discovery with the requirements of healthcare. With Electronic Health Records replacing paper records, e-discovery rules as prescribed in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will apply to healthcare organizations under government investigation or litigation.

The Guide does a thorough job of describing the e-discovery process for the healthcare professional or clinician, information technology professional, and risk management and corporate compliance departments. Also provided is an outstanding foundation of the healthcare industry for third parties that work closely with healthcare providers, such as those working in the legal industry providing counsel to primary healthcare organizations. This guide is much more than an overview of the FRCP and HIPAA; it is a bible to guide healthcare professionals through the processes of establishing a defensibly sound e-discovery and electronic records program, with policies and procedures, to respond to a request for “any/all electronic information” relevant to a legal or regulatory matter.

The Guide emphasizes that healthcare organizations must see their information as assets to be managed and protected and describes strategies, standards, and best practices that need to be discussed, adopted, and supported for managing patient and organizational information. Healthcare organizations risk losing time and money searching for records, evidence may be lost that supports the organization’s position in business negotiation or litigation, and the risk of court sanctions exists if an approach isn’t taken to properly manage Electronic Health Records. The Guide includes the following areas must be understood when developing protocols around healthcare data:

• How healthcare organizations must define their Electronic Health Record.

• How to develop an electronic records system in healthcare.

• Every healthcare provider and third-party service provider that stores or accesses an individual’s medical information is impacted.

• How Electronic Health Record Systems integrate with labs, pharmacy, and radiology applications.

• How to create and follow an effective and defensible approach to discovery.

• How to develop a litigation response plan.

When the topic of ESI arises, the discussion usually begins with the FRCP and the statutes or rules regarding electronic discovery. An organization is under a duty to preserve information under federal and state law when it knowns, or reasonably should know, it is in possession of information relevant to legal action. This guide thoroughly explains the aspects of handling and managing healthcare data with electronic discovery rules, including:

• The legal process.

• The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

• The Federal Rule of Evidence.

• Uniform Rules Relating to the Discovery of Electronically Stored Information.

• The regulations and governance of data in healthcare

• The challenges to the traditional practices of how a healthcare organization’s legal counsel and health information managers respond to litigation.

• The preparation needed in healthcare regarding litigation and litigation triggers.

• The litigation readiness strategies of data admissibility, authenticity, attestation, and integrity.

The Guide closes with invaluable appendices to supplement the five core chapters providing thorough guidelines, advice, and charts to develope an e-discovery protocol and electronic records system in healthcare. The 200-plus page glossary and glossary of websites is also a great place to find information on healthcare and legal terms, legislative acts, programs, organizations, standards, and related technology.

I found E-Discovery and Electronic Records to be an exceptional guide to applying e-discovery in the healthcare industry. I appreciate the combined complexities of both disciplines much more and I am confident that I can now apply healthcare industry practices to e-discovery with the solid understanding gained from this guide.

E-Discovery and Electronic Records is a go-to guide for the end-to-end understanding, design, and support of electronic records in healthcare in response to litigation and best practices for healthcare records management.

Title: Discovery and Electronic Records: Healthcare Resource Guide to e-Discovery and Electronic Records
Authors: Kimberly Baldwin-Stried Reich, Katherine Ball, Michelle Dougherty and Ronald Hedges
Paperback: 688 pages (May 7, 2012)
Publisher: American Health Information Management
Language: English
ISBN-10: 158426229X
ISBN-13: 978-1584262299
Product Dimensions (inches): 8.8 x 6 x 1.4
Shipping Weight: 2 pounds

David Kearney is Director of Technology Services at Cohen & Grigsby, based in Pittsburgh, Pa. E-mail: DKearney@cohenlaw.com.

Copyright 2013. ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission from Law Technology News. Further Duplication prohibited.


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