Patient access to electronic health information

I have been ranting for several years about the need to provide a link between existing electronic health information systems and personal health record applications.  Seems that this issue has hit the attention of the media:

What’s it gonna take to give people electronic copies of their health information so they can  populate their own personal health applications, much as the banks already do with applications like Quicken or Microsoft Money?  As I have said many times before, it is MY data, damn it, and I should be able to use it in any way that I see fit.

Thoughts?  Comments?


4 responses to “Patient access to electronic health information

  1. It is YOUR data Mike, but what are you going to do with it? Does the average person know how to interpret the results of their lab test?

    I know how passionate you are on the subject, and I respect your ideas but I still can’t get beyond the role of physician/care givers in a PHR. The question I think we need answered is

    “What’s it gonna take to give people electronic copies of their health information so they can populate their own personal health applications” and how do you get physicians/care givers to voluntarily provide context the information.

    I’ve always felt that the current fee structure for paying physicians is a dis-incentive to help care for patients using technology. This needs to get fixed at the same time as the technology side.


  2. I’m not suggesting that we force people to electronically receive and review their results. Further, I do believe in the physician / patient partnership. However, I am proposing that people have the option to electronically receive / review any personal health information that is collected anywhere in the health system.


  3. Is it really your data? That could be debatable. Afterall, the insurance company actually has the contract with the doctor and is paying for the creation of the health record. So, who really owns the data?

    I agree, it should belong to the consumer (the patient), but we have a “third-party payer” system, which confuses the issue. I am hopeful that the new continuity of care requirements will open up some new opportunities to create better patient involvement and responsibility with their health care data. However, I think most people really aren’t that interested in the details and just want it to all work below the level of conscious thought.

  4. I’m a family doctor and I couldn’t agree more. While there are elements of an electronic chart that patients need help interpreting, I see no reason that they shouldn’t have access. There’s nothing I write in a chart that I don’t write knowing that patients may one day view it. Not only do I think that patients should be able to view their record but in some parts, they should be able to write to it….. things such as blood pressure, blood sugar, body weight records. And furthermore, I think patients should be able to have dual custodianship of these online records with their doctors. If say a patient goes to to see another healthcare professional, why should the doctor have to arrange transfer of records? Why not let the patient authorize viewing of all or parts of their electronic record as needed?

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