The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines a patient portal as a secure online website that gives patients convenient 24-hour access to personal health information from anywhere with an Internet connection. The portal enables patients to view their e-health records, results of medical checkups and to virtually interface with their doctors.
In support of the ONC, the HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) Identity Management Task Force recommends all patients go through an identity proofing process and be issued a two-factor authentication credential before they access any of their medical records through a patient portal.(1)
This recommendation comports with other global initiatives enabling patient access to their electronic health records. For example, the UK’s Patient Online Program supports general practitioner practices to offer and promote online services to patients, including access to coded information in records, appointment booking and ordering of repeat prescriptions.(1)
HIMSS Identity Management Task Force, “Recommended Identity Assurance for Patient Portals,” http://s3.amazonaws.com/rdcms-himss/files/production/public/HIMSS_IDMTF_IAPP_Recommendation_Final.pdf