Over the last 25 years, healthcare has seen a revolution like no other. The structure of our personal health data has dramatically changed, giving providers extensive access to patient information as well as deeper insight into clinical workflows. Now, thanks to numerous changes in both access and availability, that same data can be shared by the patients themselves. Enter the world of medical record portability.
In the past, providers and healthcare systems essentially “owned” their patients’ medical records. Thanks to the advent of new technologies, the old status quo is quickly changing for the better. Patients are now getting the ability to own their data, taking their records with them wherever they go.
This change helps create a more complete health picture for referred patients and reduce costs. However, the benefits of medical record portability are not for the patients alone. Providers who embrace technologies that enhance medical record portability can achieve improved efficiency and increased patient satisfaction, both of which boost the bottom line.
Let’s take a look at some of the most recent changes facilitating the shift to improved medical record portability.
Tech giants helping make medical record portability possible
In today’s world we see more technology mega-companies taking an interest in this sector. Driving the informatics movement and turning the dream of improved patient access to records into a reality is Apple.
At the end of March 2018, a short two months after announcing its beta test, Apple launched Apple Health Records, with 39 health systems participating. The app allows anyone with an iPhone and iOS version 11.3 to access information like allergies, medications, conditions, and immunizations, as well as updates that were exclusively available in an EHR patient portal for, such as lab results. As long as the user is a patient at a participating hospital, they can see and share their data. This gives users a tremendous advantage by allowing them to aggregate their medical records into one, convenient app.
With large health systems, like Penn Medicine, Johns Hopkins, Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and Stanford Medicine signing on to support the app, the number of hospitals and clinics participating now numbers in the hundreds, a good sign when it comes to the future success of the patient portability movement.
Health informatics technology needs to assist in medical record portability
Also supporting the revolution to enhance medical record portability is the latest in data informatics and automated indexing technology from InDxLogic. Our automated indexing system allows providers to go deep into both patient data and clinical workflows to ensure that all patient records are properly indexed and easily accessible.
InDxLogic’s software also makes it simple to tag at-risk patients, flagging patients and their doctors for the need for enhanced care. Taking it a step further, InDxLogic’s enhanced data capture allows the development of infrastructure for how patients share information between practices.
Although in its infancy, medical record portability is now a reality. With such an intense focus from big-name players in the market, healthcare systems that embrace the revolution will see big returns in the near future. Better patient care, enhanced patient satisfaction, improved efficiency and higher revenues are just a beginning. When patients have access to their medical records, something they want and deserve, they can truly become a partner in their care. Then, everyone is a winner.
- By Michael Ebaugh M.D., Ph.D.
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