Reuters has released the results of a pair of studies done here in the United States regarding how patients view their medical records. The studies show that patients want not only easier access to their records, but also to the doctor’s notes recorded in them and the ability to share those notes and records with whomever they choose.
In short, most Americans want full ownership of their records with all of the rights that entails.
While access to records has been slowly improving around the nation, it can still be very difficult for patients to access and share their records with other healthcare providers or family. Access to doctor’s notes is often next to impossible as traditionally, doctors have viewed those as a sort of hallowed ground. There are even some malpractice insurance companies that do not allow doctors insured by them to share those notes unless under a court order.
Health IT is rapidly changing on many fronts. Here at MedeFile, we mostly talk about the changes happening on the back-end, where patients don’t often see the everyday goings on. Some changes, however, are happening right before your eyes and are the kind of thing that you may see very soon, very visibly.
One of those is the virtual discharge nurse. The process of going through the paperwork, safety briefings, etc. is relatively time-consuming. Anyone who’s been through a hospital stay realizes this. One way to simplify the process from a manpower perspective is to use virtual nurses ñ discharge software with a graphical interface that represents a nurse talking to the patient and going through the routine discharge information.
Here’s some interesting news. ABI Research has released a report that estimates that the mobile health solutions market will quadruple to $400 million by the year 2016. This is an interesting projection with many of the market drivers being sports, fitness and wellness apps. As mobile becomes more ubiquitous, so will the applications being sold to run on it, obviously.
With a bigger market comes bigger opportunities. It’s like that during this same time frame, some sort of consensus on electronic health records formats will be made and that many doctors offices and hospitals will have adopted those. In the mean time, personal health records systems like MedeFile will have adapted to those formats as well, providing a way for patients to access records directly as well as for doctors and providers to more easily share information once a patient consents.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) is busy with one goal: getting a national, interconnected, private and secure health records system in place. Before 2009, only 17% of physicians and 12% of hospitals had implemented any kind of electronic health record (EHR) system. Today, according to an ONCHIT survey, 74% of hospitals are planning on investing in health information exchange services.
The idea such a system is obvious: make records uniform, easy to transfer, and allow for better interaction between patient, healthcare providers, and insurance. Of course, there are hurdles to overcome with privacy and collaboration being important and the difficult standardization of records being a big one.