3. Health Information Exchanges enable secure sharing of EHR
Health Information Exchange (HIE) means different things to different people. At the basic level, HIE promotes the sharing of health related information electronically amongst medical organizations.
In a practical sense, this may mean:
- Interconnected infrastructure of organizations without the regard for complexities of moving the data itself, much like what the Automotive Network Exchange (ANX) supplied during its establishment
- Setting up of protocols such as HL7 to facilitate the normalization of data from heterogeneous systems
- Simple, prescription-less, governance regarding technology
HIEs are efficiently used as intermediary sources to centralize important information and retain access to it, instead of forming a selective portal for each provider and payer to their data and gaining access to peer organizations. The records, in the end, all belong to the patients, even though healthcare companies do contribute and enrich existing information.
4. Electronic health care records means broader patient choices
Migrating paper medical records via cloud does not provide meaningful use, unless the Electronic Health Records (EHR) follow the patient. As humans, we have free will, with the tendency to exercise it regularly. The junction of these two particular conditions results in the need to have a fair healthcare system, with a caregiver that suits our needs.
‘A la carte’ care means that patients are allowed to choose a specialist at one facility, but a primary care physician in a separate organization. This care-network might extend beyond the usual coverage of an individual health plan. And even so, the patient’s crucial health records must be available wherever they’re needed; to the payer, the caregiver himself, to pharmacists, and the to the patient through web portals and mobile apps.
It’s obvious that all parties cannot have equal and complete access to EHR. For instance, it’s not necessary for pharmacists to have all the treatment notes, and neither they nor the patient should be able to modify the records (although it may be useful to add notes).
McKinsey & Company is increasing consumer engagement for both patients and the healthcare providers. Engaging individuals requires a basic mindset shift for payers, they must think of their members as partners in health management. As a result, payers must be able to enhance their capabilities in areas such as customer relationship management, social marketing, and behavioral economics.
5. Control over data = transparency
When consumers and the healthcare industry in particular rely on cloud solutions to store their data, they give away direct control over that information, starting from the bottom level, which is the application. From there onwards, data is further sacrificed as issues of cloud deployment, compounded with the geographical location, ultimately lead to the issue of who has data access.
This is the main reason behind the shift of control when electronic information is transferred onto the cloud, with the patient’s provider explicitly sharing in the main associates who will then take responsibility for the privacy and security of the data. This method ensures utmost transparency in a patient-healthcare relationship.
All in all
Ultimately, responsibility is essential not only for complying with government rules, but for ensuring trust. The doctor, to whom patients who have divulged their most important details, must have efficient BAs and a ‘strongly clouded’ information system where the EPHI might be securely stored.
If their records are compromised, patients might lose their trust in their doctors, consequently putting their care at risk. Thus, the electronic patient information is not just data, it represents individuals, their health, and their lives.