The Importance of a Portable Personal Health Record
Regardless of the fact that patients have had the legal right to access their Personal Health Records (PHRs) for the past 20 years, the health sector still struggles with integrating them digitally. With the current government focus on interoperability a large number of IT healthcare companies hope to provide greater control and convenience to patients. The ability of data to flow freely from system to system will help shape a more trustworthy relationship between providers and patients. From obtaining physician-held records to seeing test results and making appointments, medical information will be in the hands of the patients, satisfying consumer demand to take control of their health digitally. Having access to their personal health record in one click will transform healthcare, allowing freer communication, better medical record keeping and a sense of empowerment.
The benefits of a portable digital personal health record are numerous. These include:
Better patient engagement – Patient engagement has two main components. The first one concerns how easy it is for patients to access their personal health information and make decisions about their medications, treatment options and illness. The other includes the collaboration of patients, their representatives and families with healthcare providers.
Lower administrative costs – Introducing interoperable systems would help the medical staff avoid having to manually coordinate information exchange and reduce the time medical employees dedicate to the task. Additionally, the majority of administrative medical errors happen due to the lack of data information and automation.
Quicker access – For both providers and patients having the health record in an electronic format would provide fast and seamless information accessibility. The clinicians would benefit from having access to more complete patient records and alerts, while patients would be able to control how their healthcare providers access these records.
Effective communication between providers and patients – With the help of personal health records, the communication between providers and patients can improve. This includes improved health care services, faster and more efficient communication and fully accessible medical care.
This shift to a more patient-centered approach is supported by the 21st Century Cures Act according to which patients can electronically access all their Electronic Health Records (EHRs) at no cost. Tell Health, a free digital social healthcare platform, aims to both fill the gap in patient-provider communication and provide seamless patient access to personal health records.
By integrating personal health records from different providers, Tell Health wants to encourage patients to engage directly with the management of their health information.