Electronic Health Records

Integration & Interoperability News

Apple Health Records EHR Data Viewer Steadily Gaining Traction

Henry Ford Health System is the latest to support the Apple Health Records EHR data viewer to improve patient health data access.

Apple Health Records is continuing to gain traction among large hospitals and health systems.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Patients at Henry Ford Health System will now have the opportunity to access their own health information through iOS devices after the health system announced it will support the Apple Health Records EHR data viewer.

The app serves as a user-friendly way for patients to view their medical information from any participating healthcare organization in a single, longitudinal view. Health Records leverages the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard to aggregate data elements from disparate EHR systems, healthcare organizations, and providers.

Patients can use the EHR data viewer to access allergies, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures, vitals, and other information. Additionally, patients will receive notifications when their data is updated.

The feature includes simple data visualizations that highlight any values that are out of range if a reference range is provided from the source health system. Users can also view all FHIR data in raw form.

Information stored in Health Records is encrypted using the patient’s phone password, Face ID, or Touch ID.

“With all of the digital advancements being made, we know that it's more important than ever to offer our patients a variety of choices to access their health information easily and conveniently,” said Henry Ford Senior Vice President and CIO Paul Browne. “Health Records helps us do just that for many of our mobile users.” 

Patients can authorize the release of their EHRs to the Health Records app by enrolling in Health Records within the Apple Health app, selecting Henry Ford Health System from a dropdown list of hospitals and health systems, and entering their Henry Ford patient portal login and password into the login page.

“We have a commitment to not only provide the best in digital advancements, but also protect our patient's privacy and personal data,” said Henry Ford Vice President of Clinical Transformation Geoff Patterson. “The security features in this platform ultimately give users control over the release of their information.”

The Health Records feature can also foster more productive communication between patients and providers by equipping patients with updated health information for review before and after patient encounters.

“When patients come to an emergency department and have quick access to all their personal health data, especially medications and allergies, the emergency team can provide prompt medical care which is critical in life-saving situations,” said Henry Ford CMIO David Allard, MD. “Providing patients easy access to their personal health data whenever and wherever they need it makes for better healthcare.”

Henry Ford Health System is a six-hospital health system based in Detroit, Michigan. The health system provides health insurance and patient care delivery services in acute, specialty, primary, and preventive care settings.

Since its inception in January 2018, the Health Records app has generated buzz among healthcare industry leaders. Health system executives at each of the 12 organizations that were early adopters of Apple Health Records predicted the feature would have an immediate positive impact on patient engagement, interoperability, and health IT innovation.

More than 80 health system participants and hundreds of hospitals and clinics currently allow patients to access their complete EHRs through the feature.

The feature is specifically designed to give patients control over how they manage and share their health information, according to Apple Clinical and Health Informatics Lead Ricky Bloomfield, MD, Health Records.  

“It makes it very easy for you to manage your health information,” Bloomfield told attendees of the ONC 2nd Interoperability Forum.

“You as a user have complete control over who has access to the data,” he added. “If you don’t want to share it, it won’t be shared. It stays private on your device until you decide to share it.”

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