Hi Ginny, list, 

No experience with Knowledge Tree and minimal with other open source RM
products. But in defense of software vendors generally and their
often-overheated marketingspeak, I disagree on a couple of minor points. 

For privacy, software can assist by allowing different levels of access to
different providers based on need-to-know. The example I used for the AIIM
courses was that of a patient's medical record. The patient was a child. So
some of the data in the record would be available to any clinician, while
some would only be available to treating physicians. The example included a
bit that was referred to child and family services, and that data would only
be available to the child and family services practitioners, even excluding
other physicians. 

Software can also be used to redact personally identifiable health info,
such as SSN, name, etc. Even when the data isn't structured there are
vendors that can do this based on a capture/recognition/redaction according
to rules approach. 

For security, same thing as described above for privacy - plus I believe
there are some requirements relating to encryption of data in transit (not
the X.12 transactional data, but other types of data). It can also provide
an audit trail, often either by user (what did I look at) or by record or
document (who looked at my file) or both. 

I am NOT a HIPAA expert by any means, and I know that almost every vendor
pitches product using whatever the buzzword of the day is. Today it isn't
HIPAA nearly as much as it is "the recent changes to the FRCP" or phrasing
to that effect, but same same. Most of these solutions can provide
technological assistance in meeting whatever the regulatory requirements are
- but as Ginny notes, software ain't worth the bits it's composed of without
effective policies, procedures, processes, training, auditing, etc. 

Jesse Wilkins
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