“We the people…have the right to our own health data.”
That’s part of a collective new Declaration of Health Rights, officially unveiled tonight on the newly launched HealthDataRights.org. It is time to turn the conversation from fear and privacy to sharing data and finding new treatments and better care.
The Declaration represents reality that what we are doing does not work and does not serve the patient, and this reality is being declared tonight simultaneously via blogs by all stakeholders in healthcare. I recently wrote about how sharing is a right. This Declaration articulates these inalienable rights, as it provides a straightforward definition of health data rights to ensure the flow of meaningful data. We are that much closer to getting you, the patient, at the center of the health system.
This started with a simple conversation; a conversation about sharing data between two health systems that spurred additional conversation and more. In the end, so many of us agreed that what we need to do is let the data flow and the information become meaningful. Our collective goal is to ensure that healthcare gets better, quality is improved, and yes, treatments are developed faster. That is what we stand for and that is what we are working to do.
Below is the Declaration in its entirety. Read it aloud. Think about what it means to you. To us, and the thousands of patients we represent at PatientsLikeMe, this Declaration means that we can truly participate in our own healthcare. To us, the endorsements of well-known and respected healthcare leaders and organizations for this Declaration signify our nation’s unity in preserving the right to have and share health data. This is why PatientsLikeMe endorses this Declaration.
Declaration of Health Data Rights
In an era when technology is allowing personal health information to be more easily stored, updated, accessed and exchanged, the following rights should be self-evident and inalienable. We the people:
• Have the right to our own health data
• Have the right to know the source of each health data element
• Have the right to take possession of a complete copy of our individual health data, without delay, at minimal or no cost; If data exist in computable form, they must be made available in that form
• Have the right to share our health data with others as we see fit
These principles express basic human rights as well as essential elements of health care that are participatory, appropriate and in the interests of each patient. No law or policy should abridge these rights.
So what can you do? You can endorse it here ; you can endorse it via Twitter (enter #myhealthdata); you can join our Facebook page and show your support; and perhaps you can even record and share a video reading the Declaration aloud… “I have the right to my own health data.” Yes, you do.