Glenn Lanteigne and his team at the South West LHIN continue to find new and innovative ways to engage the vendor community. Last fall they instituted the highly successful Vendor Friday series that offers individual vendors the opportunity to meet with LHIN staff plus invited members of the health community. Recognizing the opportunity that a quickly evolving and rapidly growing range of Consumer eHealth technologies presents, Glenn and his team recently announced the first Consumer eHealth Innovation session.
According to a recent chat with Glenn, the Consumer eHealth Innovations sessions will be held periodically throughout year so that vendors can meet with health service providers, physicians and others interested in emerging Consumer eHealth solutions to explore how these technologies can support the LHIN’s eHealth Strategic Plan. The first session will take place on Thursday, June 30th, at the University of Western Ontario’s Research Park Convergence Centre. The invitation on the South West LHIN web site states that attendees will “not only learn about the latest developments in personal health records, patient monitoring, consumer navigation of the health care system, and mobile technologies”, they will also “see how these and other tools support the LHIN’s eHealth Strategic Plan.”
Given the significant interest in Consumer eHealth, I expect that the limited number of spaces for this event will go quickly. RSVP by June 23, either by calling 519-640-2592 or emailing Jordan.lange@LHINS.ON.CA.
The Delaware Medical Society is helping its members use IT to encourage greater patient engagement. According to an article in HealthcareIT News, the Delaware Medical Society is “making web-based tools available to its members to boost doctor-patient communication and is also providing free personal health records to all state residents” through a partnership with RelayHealth.
The Executive Director of the Delaware Medical Society, Mark A. Meister, Sr., notes that the “The primacy of the physician-patient relationship means that physicians are in the best position to have the greatest influence on patient care and the individual choices a patient makes.” Physician endorsement of consumer eHealth applications and automated downloading of data from electronic medical record systems have highlighted in several studies that I have read as critical success factors in patient acceptance of personal health record and related consumer health applications.
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.
I recently read a CNN article and a blog post on the topic of patient access to their own health data:
Both articles reminded my of an interview I did in 20007 with a cancer patient using Grand River’s oncology portal about which I wrote in a blog posting nearly a year ago:
Like several people quote in the article and blog posting, the person I interviewed emphatically stated several times during our conversation that she felt very strongly that “they [her medical records] are my records and I feel that I should be able to have immediate access to them when I want.” Further, she asserted that she should be able to offer access to these records to whoever might be involved in any aspect of her care. Clearly the cry “Give us our damn data” resonates with this patient.
As healthcare organizations increasing digitize their medical records, I suggest that the debate regarding access to these records will get more heated. People are already conditioned by the banks to access and and even download their financial information. Despite legitimate claims that medical information is more complex and, at times, difficult for the layperson to decipher, I believe that people will feel that information related to their health is theirs to do with as they see fit and will get more vocal in their demands to be able to do so. What do you think? Should patients have unrestricted access (subject to appropriate privacy controls) to their own health / medical data? If not, what restrictions should we place on this access?
As they get ready for an upcoming election, the Conservative Party in the UK recently released their “Draft Manifesto 2010, Chapter One, Our Reform Plan for the NHS”.
In keeping with earlier statements regarding personal health records, the Conservative Manifesto promises to “put patients in charge of their own health records, with the ability to choose which providers they share them with.” If they are elected, the Conservatives have committed to join the Australians in shifting from an EHR-centric architecture to a personal health record based architecture.
In an article regarding the Conservative manifesto, the Tory leader, David Cameron, is quoted as saying “It’s the patient who’ll have the power in our NHS. You’ll be able to check your health records online in the same way you do your bank account.”
With two commonwealth countries actively considering a shift to personal health records, how should Canada adjust its eHealth / EHR strategy to accommodate / address personal health records?