New MiChart Security Feature: “Break the Glass”

January 23, 2017  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

MiChart teams in Health Information Technology & Services are proud to announce the implementation of a new security function in MiChart called “Break the Glass,” or BTG. BTG is one of several new enhancements to the MiChart application and serves two primary goals:

  • Patient Protection: To identify and flag patients who, because of their individual circumstance, may be at higher risk of having their record accessed inappropriately.
  • User Prevention:  Deter inappropriate access by MiChart users who have no authorized reason to enter a patient’s record by alerting them when they are about to access a record equipped with BTG.

The project will be implemented in two phases – the first beginning at the end of January for pilot patients identified as “High Risk/High Profile,” including all U-M athletes. The second phase of implementation will be complete at the end of April, and will apply BTG to all regular (non-temporary) Michigan Medicine and U-M Health employee health records.

Regular employees are encouraged to not request BTG be set on their records before the pilot phase is complete. Other patients may request to have BTG activated on their record when scheduling an appointment or during their visits.

Any time a patient expresses concern about the confidentiality of their record (e.g., because they know people who work at Michigan Medicine), BTG can be set on that patient’s record.  Any workforce member can submit a request for the BTG setting to be placed on the patient’s record.

“The confidentiality of every person’s health data is foundational for the relationship between health care providers and our patients,” said Marschall Runge, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Medical School.  “Our patients and families trust and expect that their health records are kept confidential and accessed only for legitimate health care-related purposes.

“The advent of electronic health records has resulted in a risk of inappropriate access to health records. As an institution, it is imperative that we take all appropriate measures to guarantee the confidentiality of private health information,” Runge said. “For this reason, I am pleased that we are implementing a new MiChart security function called ‘Break the Glass.’”

For more information, including role-specific tip sheets, contact information for staff who can set BTG on a patient record, and examples of reasons to “break the glass,” please visit the BTG webpage on the MiChart website.