An article published yesterday in Wall Street Journal The Health-Care Industry Is Pushing Patients to Help Themselves – Providers are Using Tech Tools and Personalized Approaches to Get Patients More Engaged
The Institute of Medicine, which cited patient engagement as key to an effective health-care system in a 2012 report, urged doctors to use technology to fill the gap.
One basic step is making sure people have easy access to their medical records online, so they can do things like check their data to make sure it’s accurate and all their doctors have the same information. Some providers are offering after-visit summaries and providing patients with access to their doctor’s notes about them.
Becoming familiar with one’s own health records can help patients better understand their own condition and have more informed conversations with doctors, says Lygeia Ricciardi, director of the Office of Consumer eHealth in the federal office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. And with the flood of new fitness and health apps, consumers can plug in data from their own medical record, such as generating a fitness regimen that takes into account a knee injury, weight and blood pressure. “Getting access to personal health information is the start of engaging patients to be full partners in their care,” she says.