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DE Health Information Exchange Improves EHR Patient Access

A Delaware health information exchange released three new patient-facing apps centered on improving EHR patient access.

EHR Patient Access

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- The Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) recently began offering patients a tool allowing for easier access to patient health data shared between providers.

 “When you provide transparency, you reduce the stress people feel when making healthcare decisions,” said Chief Operating Officer of DHIN Randy Farmer. “Our goal with this consumer-facing program is to bring patients closer to their health information.”

The new program comprises three patient-facing tools with the ability to connect Delaware residents to their EHRs across a variety of platforms.

The Health Check Alert app sends a secure text message notifying users when a medical result has been successfully delivered to their doctor, when a medical professional has accessed a patient’s health record, or when a user has been admitted to a hospital or emergency room in the DHIN network.

“Ultimately, this is at the core of our mission to facilitate better healthcare by improving communication and access to information,” Farmer added. “We want to make people aware of who we are and where we fit into the overarching healthcare landscape all the way down to their own personal plan of care.”       

The service is free for any patient seeing a provider who is part of the health information exchange. Presently, just over 96 percent of Delaware providers participate in DHIN.

DHIN intends to give patients a greater degree of transparency and insight into their own health data and care delivery.

Additionally, the program could allow patients to notice fraudulent activity or misuse of their health insurance information by unauthorized parties or hackers faster and avoid financial security issues.

DHIN insiders also hope the app will improve patient care management by allowing for better communication between patients and providers regarding care plans.

“Let’s say you receive a secure text with information about your lab results being ready, but you haven’t had lab work done,” said Director of Marketing at DHIN Stacey Haddock Schiller, “You and your medical practitioner can immediately identify and prevent another individual’s health information from affecting your personal plan of care down the road.”

The second patient-facing tool, MDLive, is an online service offering patients 24 hour access to a Delaware physician by phone or video chat to answer any medical questions patients may have.

Doctors utilize telemedicine to diagnose non-emergency medical conditions and prescribe treatments. However, while Health Check Alert is free, this service costs patients around 15 dollars a month.

Finally, Health Check Connect is the apex of DHIN’s new patient-centric offerings providing patients a view of their own EHRs.

Patients have access to any health data entered into DHIN’s Community Health Record including test results, doctor’s notes, and imaging studies. Patients can view this information using a secure portal and add prescription information, vital statistics, and data from personal health trackers and wearables.

DHIN’s personal health record (PHR) will also be interactive and assist patients in charting their progress towards attaining set health goals. Additionally, the PHR will allow for the secure exchange of instant messages with providers and offer patients a dashboard displaying their full health profile.

The patient-facing initiative at Delaware’s health information exchange is one of many funded by a grant from ONC.

DHIN was chosen alongside eleven other healthcare organizations across the country to receive funding allotted toward optimizing health data exchange among populations previously restricted from this information.

These programs support the proliferation of health data exchange and health IT geared toward enhancing the patient experience, improving population health management, and reducing costs for both hospitals and patients.

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