- The list of health systems, hospitals, and clinics supporting the Apple Health Records EHR data viewer continues to grow, with seven additional health systems signing on to the beta project this month.
The tech giant updated its list of project participants to include Cogdell Memorial Hospital in Texas, David J. MacGregor MD in California, Fisher-Titus Health in Ohio, and Lake Health in Ohio.
Texas-based Lavaca Medical Center, Madison Memorial Health Partners in Idaho, and PeaceHealth also signed on to support the EHR data viewer. PeaceHealth includes locations across Arkansas, Oregon, and Washington.
Patients visiting any hospitals, clinics, or health systems that support Apple Health Records EHR data viewer can aggregate and view their health records from multiple institutions on their iOS devices. Patients can also view their EHRs alongside patient-generated health data for a more holistic view of their own health.
The seven health systems signing on to participate in the project will join over 80 other health system participants, including Rush Health, Henry Ford Health System, Johns Hopkins Medical Center, and others.
“The ability to obtain your health records from anywhere via your iPhone is nothing less than magic,” said Rush University Medical Center Chief Information Officer Shafiq Rab, MD in an Apple press release. “Apple has put the power in the hands of patients, who are the most important stakeholders.
The app provides patients with a user-friendly way to view their medical information in a single, longitudinal view. Health Records uses the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard to collect data elements from different EHR systems, healthcare organizations, and providers and present the information on a single device.
“Streamlining information sharing between patients and caregivers can go a long way towards a positive patient experience,” said Johns Hopkins Medicine Chief Information Officer Stephanie Reel. “This is why we are excited about working with Apple to make accessing secure medical records from an iPhone as simple for a patient as checking email.”
Patients can use the app to view health information including allergies, medical conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures, and vitals from various healthcare organizations. Patients also receive notifications when their health record is updated by any participating health system with new information.
The Health Records feature was released in January 2018 and has been steadily gaining traction since its release.
Healthcare industry leaders have touted the feature as a catalyst for improvement in health IT innovation, patient engagement, and healthcare interoperability.
Early adopters of Health Records — including Cedars-Sinai, Cerner Healthe Clinic, Dignity Health, and others — predicted in May 2018 that the feature would have both short and long-term benefits for users and innovators across the industry.
Half of surveyed executives predicted the app will accelerate health IT innovation, while 33 percent said it will impact consumer-facing app development. A quarter of surveyed providers predicted the Health Records feature will give outside vendors more opportunities to enter the healthcare sector.
At the ONC 2nd Interoperability Forum in August, Apple Clinical and Health Informatics Lead Ricky Bloomfield, MD, offered insight into how the feature works and why it represents a potential breakthrough in interoperability and health data access.
In addition to presenting patients with their EHR data, the feature also includes straightforward, simple data visualizations that highlight any values that are out of range if a reference range is provided from a health system.
The feature also allows users to view all of their FHIR data in raw form to promote complete transparency.