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