The movement towards empowering patients with access to their own medical data in a format they can understand and engage with has gained considerable momentum in the past few months. The scope can extend beyond health and wellness programmes to a person’s entire medical record history.
The Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY) is one of the most advanced health information networks in operation today. A series of regional hubs create a secure network that spans the entire state. The system works effectively for physicians. This power of this state of the art infrastructure has however, been untapped by the patients themselves.
To ensure that patients are empowered the New York State Department of Health, New York e-Health Collaborative and Recovery.gov recently ran a competition where New Yorkers could vote on what they wanted their patient portal to look like.
What is most significant is that this is an example of the medical profession reaching out and asking consumers what they want. What is clear from the results is that patients have placed the highest value on what appears to be the simplest, clearest, most colourful and engaging interface.
Once the portal is in place patients will be able to access their results from any mobile device and share this information with medical professionals regardless of their location when the need arises.
The proposed system has been enthusiastically received by both medical professionals and patients and is surely one of the most ground breaking initiatives in patient empowerment today.