Health Information Management

HHS releases update to Surgeon General's 'New Family Health History Tool'

HIM-HIPAA Insider, January 19, 2009

HHS released an update to the Surgeon General’s Internet-based family health history tool that helps consumers gather and share family health history information, the federal department announced in a press release Tuesday, January 13.

HHS says the tool can also help practitioners “provide more informed and personalized care for their patients.”

“This valuable tool can put family histories to work to improve patient well-being and the quality of care,” HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said in a statement. “The tool is built on health information technology standards that make it more convenient for consumers and more useful for practitioners. It is ready for use in electronic health records. And its software code will be openly available to other health organizations, so they can customize and build on its standards base.”

HHS says in the press release that the updated tool improves consumers’ control and privacy because they download their information to their own computers.

View the press release.

View HHS’ related Q&A.

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