It is important to explain that, with the patient’s permission, electronic records and HIE organizations will enable the practice to share information over the Internet with other doctors and members of the patient’s care team—including hospitals, labs, and pharmacies—providing direct benefit to the patient by relieving many of the burdens he or she might experience within the fragmented healthcare system. These burdens include continual filing of medical history forms, redundant testing, and the necessity to keep multiple running lists of current and past medications and allergies.
You Might Also Like
Explore This IssueFebruary 2010
Also By This Author
As you are engaging your patients, you can expect that their responses will be mixed and largely dependent on social factors such as age and access to—and comfort with—computer systems. You can help to ease the transition to a patient EHR by engaging patients in open dialogue that will relay the benefits of a portable electronic record and address their concerns.
Most HIE organizations offer brochures to help physicians educate their patients on the opportunities and benefits available to them through electronic health data interchange. Additionally, many national organizations and patient-centered organizations have developed programs and tools to help get patients on board and active in data exchange as active members of the care team.
Linking the Healthcare Team
Through rapid and secure access to a patient’s important health data at the point of care, providers will no longer have to settle for a simple patient snapshot at the time of scheduled visits, but will be able to see the full picture and engage their patients in the journey.
Through the individual adoption of health-related information systems, key stakeholders in the U.S. health system have taken the first step toward establishing an effective and efficient method of communication that links the healthcare team through the movement of electronic health data.
Are You Ready to Get Connected?
These initial steps provide a basic outline for preparing your practice and patients for health information exchange. For more information on health information technology in your practice, contact Itara Barnes at [email protected].
- Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Individual Membership: Chapters. Available at: www.himss.org/ASP/chaptersHome.asp. Accessed December 17, 2009.
- State Level HIE Consensus Project. Profiles of State Level HIE Efforts. Available at: www.slhie.org/efforts.asp. Accessed December 17, 2009.
- National Association of State Chief Information Officers. State CIOs. Available at: www.nascio.org/aboutNASCIO/stateCIOs. Accessed December 17, 2009.
- eHealth Initiative. Directory of Health Information Exchange Initiatives. Available at: www.ehealthinitiative.org/directory-health-information-exchange-initiatives.html. Accessed December 17, 2009.