The RAND corporation recently released a white paper that examines issues of patient privacy, consent, and identity management in the Military Health System (MHS). Titled “Patient Privacy, Consent, and Identity Management in Health Information Exchange: Issues for the Military Health System,” the Army-sponsored paper was prepared with the aim of increasing interoperability between military and non-military health providers in favor of health information exchange (HIE).

During the course of the study, RAND examined policy issues related to patient privacy, patient consent, and patient identity management; reviewed literature relevant to those topics; and conducted telephone interviews with 31 experts. The findings indicated that the Department of Defense’s MHS faces unique HIE-related challenges. Some civilian providers, for instance, have been slower to adopt electronic health records (EHRs). The study also identified key gaps in research, policy, and practice for areas concerning technology, personnel, process, organization, and environment. The paper also notes that MHS faces challenges specifically related to its wide range of care settings, patient populations, and the types of providers involved.

The study was sponsored by the United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), and conducted jointly by RAND Health and RAND Arroyo Center. The full contents of the paper are available for download here.