Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Hospital Offering Digital Records


Online personal health records — controlled by patients themselves, not by hospitals, doctors, insurers or employers — have been available for years. Yet only a small percentage of Americans have digital personal health records today, analysts estimate.

A major obstacle to adoption has been getting useful medical and patient information into personal health records. Typing one’s personal health information into an online form is time-consuming, mind-numbing and error-prone.

Microsoft and Google have announced partnerships in recent months with large health care providers like to explore transferring patient data automatically into personal health records.

“NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital,  is the first large institution to move beyond the pilot stage this week as it begins to offer consumer-controlled health records for patients, and its experience will be closely watched in the industry.”

Apparently NewYork-Presbyterian has been working with Microsoft for more awhile. This will be introduced gradually beginning with heart patients, who will be told of the potential benefits of personal health records when they visit a NewYork-Presbyterian hospital or outpatient clinics.

Initially, patients will be given on-site help signing on and setting up passwords, and access to the Web portal for personal health records, myNYP.org, will be controlled.

NewYork-Presbyterian has had its own computerized records for patients for years, and Dr. Corwin says the use of electronic medical records to track care inside the hospital system has saved money and improved outcomes, for instance, reducing medication errors considerably.

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