Conversation around the current state of health care and what is being done to fix it is at fever pitch. Today, Vice President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are announcing $1.2 billion dollars in federal grants that will help states and hospitals transition to electronic medical records (EMR).
One of the most consistent frustrations with the current state of health care is that it is full of redundant paperwork that takes time to fill out and creates barriers to Personalized Health Care. IBM recently did a study that backs up that claim and finds that Americans actually avoid the doctor because of paperwork.
Friday, HHS Secretary Sebelius will be at Ohio State University Medical Center to learn how we are using EMRs to provide better patient care. Secretary Sebelius has spoken before about the importance of implementing information technology:
Today’s announcement will empower hospitals across the country to begin implementation.
Dr. Gabbe recently outlined the other benefits to patients of implementing EMRs:
Ohio State Medical Center has been using a personal health record, OSUMyChart, since 2008. It allows patients to better manage their medical information and increase interaction with the health care team. The secure online portal provides patients with immediate access to view their outpatient medical record information, while also allowing direct communication with office staff and their medical providers.
Patients are utilizing the portal to:
- View health summaries, including current health issues, medications, allergies, immunizations, and medical, surgical and family history
- Request a renewal for current medications ordered through OSUMyChart
- View and chart their home test results, such as glucose, blood pressure and weight
- Send appointment requests, as well as cancellations or reschedule requests
- With proxy access, view another person’s health information or communicate on their behalf
- Utilize secure messaging for non-urgent medical advice
“Whether it’s medical advice, requesting appointments, renewing prescriptions or sharing information seamlessly within the health care team, OSUMyChart puts more information at our patients’ fingertips,” says Dr. Neeraj Tayal, assistant professor of internal medicine, who is leading the implementation effort along with Dr. Milisa Rizer, clinical director of the outpatient electronic medical record project.
OSUMyChart is available at numerous family practice and internal medicine offices, as well as ambulatory care sites for the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital and The James, with implementation at all outpatient facilities by 2011. To access the portal, patients should contact their health care provider.
Electronic Medical Records promise to provide a big step forward in the way we treat patients. What do you think about the technology?