Posted By Monique Dever On October 9, 2015
Information is power. In this world, we are now used to having access to all our information on tip of our fingers. We have access to our financial information updated frequently. By knowing our finances, we can plan our expenses much more effectively. Similarly, with the federal mandate for adoption of Electronic Health Record, consumers are also going to be winners with their health information. As part of federal mandate consumers have access and the right to get their medical information via patient portal.
Electronic health Records (EHRs) can help to put you back in control of your health; they can quickly fill in the gaps in the knowledge we have of our health and healthcare. Even though patient portals are available at no cost to patients, it is taking a long time to become main stream. Well, as the Wall Street Journal printed “Patients have a lot to gain by getting access to their health information.” In fact, all consumers can go to their doctor or hospital and demand access to their medical information via a patient portal. Patent portals provide secure access to your health information by logging into a website with your unique username and password. Consumers can simply access basic information such as allergies, medication, problems list, etc. If you choose to, you can share access to your patient portal with your family members involved in your healthcare. It is an easy and convenient way to keep track of your information.
As HealthIT.gov states, EHRs have many patient-centric benefits. These benefits include helping you keep track of the really important details of your physical and mental health, as well as understanding the financial end of things when it comes to the care you receive from your doctors.
EHRs provide secure and direct access to your health records, in the same way you have secure and direct access to your financial accounts. So, communicate with your healthcare providers, ensure that your information is valid, up-to-date and complete, and personally keep better track of it all.
An increasing number of physicians are now making available lab results electronically via secure patient portal. This means consumers can now look at the results at their leisure, learn how far they are from the recommended ranges, and take proactive action to improve their own health; to see how they are improving over a period of time. Information is power to improve one’s health.
EHRs reduce paperwork. What a novel idea. With EHR, you should only have to fill in your name and address once and the information flows throughout the clinic. No need to fill out multiple forms.
With increasing EHR connectivity to Health Information Exchanges; data can be exchanged between different providers. Data shared through EHRs is much more accurate and up-to-date, enabling your providers to assess your health status and make decisions holistically. This is most beneficial in crisis situations and will help doctors protect your safety and coordinate the best care for you (for example, preventing bad reactions when more than one provider is prescribing medications that could be harmful when taken together). As more information is shared, there is an opportunity to eliminate duplication of tests and procedures reducing cost and pain to patients.
Electronic health Records and patient portals bring healthcare into the 21st century. Demand access to your personal health records, and take an active role in your healthcare decisions. The benefits are not only time savers but ultimately could be life savers too. To help further, the industry has a growing number of other ways for digital health engagement. The HealthIT.gov website offers a list of personal wellness gadgets and apps and resources that can nicely complement EHR and patient portal usage.