You can’t ignore what is going on around us, so one more time I will beat this drum about PHRs. Everyone would like to have everything connected, but until money frees up, it’s not going to happen quickly, so the PHR to the rescue. Again, I urge everyone to get one, they are free and heck you will learn a lot by doing so.

We are back around to the same mentality once more “it’s for those guys over there”, when in fact a PHR is a consumer product for everyone and it works with other medical records and can help your doctors build a record of your health, so they can treat you better instead of having to shoot from the hip.image

Tired of filling out all those papers every time you see a new doctor, well patients and doctors, get hip. Here’s your answer, all it needs is utilization and learning how to use it. Department of Defense likes it, Kaiser likes it and have contract with Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault and the list growing. They don’t bite and can only serve to provide better health care.

The PHR is a nice backup system as well and you can use it to audit health care claims as well, as Aetna for example will push all your claim information into the program for one simple example, hook up your blood pressure machine and enter your data with no typing required. EHR vendors are working to integrate as well.

Both program also connect you to credible healthcare information, that is if you want it. What do you have to lose other than a little time here. There really needs to be one big effort as well to educate patients, doctors and hospitals on how they are used and the value they offer. This is a big part of the value as if you don’t give one a trial run, how in the world do you know what it can do. You can talk all you want, but “hands on” is the best and we need more of that too at top levels of our government.

The real power here is the vendors that will populate the information for you, in other words you don’t have to do it all, read up and see what can be done with a few clicks. The power with Google Health and HealthVault is with the vendors that do the work for you and then you have credible information to share with your doctor, unless you would rather have him/her shoot from the hip and run the risk of perhaps forgetting to tell them about some vital health information that could help diagnose and better serve your consultation. BD

The Economy – One more Reason to think about a Free PHR

Even with conversations I have on the web and in person at healthcare facilities, it still surprises me to see the number of clinicians, medical staff, patients, etc. that are unaware of the existence of the PHR. The best way to become acquainted is to sign up and get one, and this also allows for more intelligent conversations both in person and on the web. I get many questions on their use and see many other blogs and web sites discussing PHRs, but yet the authors have yet to even try one, but see lines of text with their analysis of how they either think they are of benefit or the opposite. How can one analyze something they have never tried it?

Two small surveys indicate the financial crisis and recession are having an adverse effect on hospitals' new information technology initiatives. The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, National Alliance for Health Information Technology and AHA Solutions Inc. conducted a November survey of 144 CIOs and 27 CFOs from an unspecified number of hospitals and delivery systems. The results show 55% of surveyed CFOs are experiencing delays in accessing capital and expect the financial crisis to last 12 to 24 more months. Consequently, 57% of the CFOs are deferring I.T. purchases and 52% are delaying or lengthening implementation timeframes for continuing initiatives. Two-thirds of surveyed CIOs are implementing longer timeframes for application projects. One-third of the CIOs have reduced spending on outsourced I.T. services.

Surveys: Hospitals Cutting Back on I.T.

Related Reading:

Technology “It’s for Those Guys Over There” said the CEO – I Don’t Do Digital Notes
Education not Fear is Needed with Medical Health Records
Healthcare leaders favor personal networks (Personal Health Records) to RHIOs for data exchange

Many Likely to Create Own Online Personal Medical Record – Report

Changing Paradigms – Personal Health Records Showing Real Value – Ask Aetna

Lawmakers Consider Adding Health IT to Stimulus Package – We Need some Congressional Algorithms

Interoperability Advice for the New Administration – AHIC

Implantable VeriChip and Microsoft HealthVault PHR link information

The Future – A Day of Going to the Doctor


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