Frequently Asked Questions

The Dossia Network is a new idea with the potential to dramatically change the health care system and minimize errors and waste. Here's some information to get you started understanding what it's all about and how it will work.

  • What, exactly, is Dossia from a user perspective?

    The Dossia Network is an independent and secure internet-based system that enables participating employees to gain access to to health data that is now held on computer systems that are largely inaccessible to them.

    As the Dossia Network grows it will provide complete, lifelong personal health records.

    At first these records will be offered only to employees and dependents of the Dossia Founders Group companies.

    Because the Dossia Network is independently owned and operated employers and insurance companies will have no access to any information in any employee's health record.

    In the future, as users change jobs or insurance companies or retire, they will retain access to the Dossia Network.

  • What, exactly, is Dossia from a technology perspective?

    The Dossia Network is a hyper-secure medical internet designed to encourage vendor innovation for the benefit of every patient and health care provider, and to improve the quality of care across the entire health care system.

    After the initial development period, the Dossia Network technology platform will be made available to software developers so they can create applications that encourage the adoption of electronic personal health records far beyond the original employee groups.

    To learn more about the Dossia Network from a technology perspective please visit

  • Who's behind the Dossia network?

    The Dossia Founders Group includes Applied Materials, BP America, Inc., Intel Corporation, Pitney Bowes and Wal-Mart. They have joined together to fund the Dossia Network as a new kind of health care benefit to their employees, dependants and retirees. Any other companies who are interested in empowering their employees, and who desire to help to reduce inefficiency and errors in the health care system, are welcome to participate.

    The Dossia Network is being developed and deployed by Omnimedix Institute, an independent non-profit health care research and information technology development organization based in Portland, Oregon.

  • Nothing in life is free. Who's paying for the Dossia Network, and why?

    Each Dossia Founders Group employer is contributing a significant amount of money to develop the Dossia Network. They are doing it, fundamentally, because they believe that the Dossia Network will empower employees to manage their own care more efficiently, improve communications between patients and doctors, and provide more complete and accurate data to health care providers than the current fragmented, paper-based system.

    Dossia is a vital step in eliminating waste, inefficiencies and errors from the health care system; ultimately, the Dossia Founders Group hopes the benefits will spread far beyond their own employees, and that the Dossia Network will become the functional equivalent of a non-profit "public utility" that improves efficiency and the quality of care throughout the entire system. In the process, of course, they hope it will also help them curb the ever-increasing amounts they and their employees spend on health care.

  • Aren't there a lot of personal health records out there already?

    Yes, many different groups and companies offer personal health records. However, the capacity of these products to import data from multiple sources is limited, forcing many to rely on data you type in yourself, or on data supplied by limited number of sources. The Dossia Network will great expand the number of sources from which Dossia Network enabled Personal Health Records will be able to draw to complete your health record.

    The Dossia Network is designed to be a technology that encourages innovation. That means that developers may offer products that provide performance upgrades and new features.

    The Dossia Network is designed to avoid the incompatibilities that currently make it almost impossible to share information that's critical to avoiding potentially life-threatening misunderstandings and mistakes as a patient moves from one caregiver to another, especially in emergency situations.

    In fact, the Dossia Network has already won a broad base of support from such organizations as the American Association of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ultimately, the goal is to facilitate a new level of health information exchange, while leaving patients in full control of what information is available, and who has access to it.

  • If Dossia has such great security, how will emergency medical personnel get the information they need?

    Account holders may pre-authorize a subset of important information for release in a medical emergency. As with all data accessed through the Dossia Network ultimate decision power rests with the individual account holder.

  • There are things in my health record I don't want my employer to know about. How does Dossia ensure my privacy?

    First, the Dossia Network is operated by Omnimedix Institute, an independent not-for-profit organization. This creates an organizational firewall between the data and all outside parties — including your employer and insurance company.

    Second, Dossia will include extremely robust security policies and procedures, including a strong authentication system and a federated database. Only you can establish your Dossia Network health record, and only you can decide what information to share and with whom.

  • When can I have a Dossia Network account?

    Initially, Dossia enabled Personal Health Records will be available only to employees of the Dossia Founders Group companies. Each company will provide enrollment information in 2007.

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