Emerging Technology: The patient-accessible EMR

  1. What's better than an electronic medical record? How about an EMR that a patient can access and understand?

    When Pam Mullen needs to refill a prescription or view her latest test result, she heads promptly to her PC. Unlike most patients who use the phone for such chores, Mullen logs on to a secure Web site maintained by Group Health Cooperative, an 850-physician group practice based in Seattle. Within seconds, Mullen can access numerous services through a patient portal, "MyGroupHealth."

    Because the portal is linked with Group Health's electronic medical record system, from Epic Systems Corp. in Madison, Wis., Mullen is free to navigate virtually the same medical record her physician sees-physician approval is needed before results or medical information is posted. If she has a question, Mullen leaves an electronic query for her doctor, and usually receives a physician response within two days. It's a major improvement over phone tag, she says, adding, "it doesn't take less time to get an answer, just less of my time."

    Welcome to the world of the high-tech doctor-patient relationship. Their EMR installations behind them, growing numbers of hospitals and medical groups are taking the next logical-though controversial-step of granting their patients online access. Often combining chart access with other services, such as appointment and referral requests, such portals are gaining wide popularity among patients. Using sites like these, patients can access information that's otherwise difficult to obtain. Likewise, physician champions of online records access-dismissing fears of patient misuse-contend that the systems enhance the doctor-patient relationship...

    Full Story: http://www.healthleaders.com/news/fe...ontentid=72241
    Last edit by brian on Sep 20, '05
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  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   Sandy7000
    Yes, this is an ancient post.

    However, I'm a computer information systems specialist in my last year of schooling. I've been looking into a health IT emphasis. We've just been learning about this option through the BIRC sessions through Marshfield Clinic.

    http://marshfieldclinic.org/birc/pages/default.aspx

    As well, http://www.projecthealthdesign.org/ Project Health Design is the other hot spot. We learned about medical records that can be carried on a pen drive on someone's key chain, akin to a medic alert bracelet.

    These are so important as the patient is the "weakest" link in transferring health information.

    When I had a bout with pericarditis, I was heavily sedated and transferred. Due to HIPAA regs, I had to repeat my medical history to the new hospital. I was such a zombie that the nurse had to keep shaking me awake.

    Although nothing serious happened in my case, it's a potential health threat to more chronically ill patients away from their regular providers.

    If a patient can simply give permission for the medic alert usb drive to be opened or an online file to be downloaded, it may prevent errors in care.

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