"Managing Your Own Health Record: A Critical Safety Issue"
September 10, 2013
By Bettina Experton MD, MPH, Humetrix President & CEO

On average, a Medicare beneficiary sees seven different physicians in a given year. With only 30% of these physicians capable of exchanging their patient health records with other providers today, the likelihood of any physician caring for Medicare patients having a complete list of medications or medical history for their patients at any given time is very low. The low likelihood that physicians have an up-to-date patient history when making diagnostic and therapeutic decisions is a critical patient safety issue.

Starting this October for hospitals, and in January 2014 for office- based physicians, the federal government will require that patients be able to V/D/T (View/ Download/ Transmit) their health or Blue Button records. This, along with expanded HIPAA regulations which give patients a right to electronically access their health records, is providing a powerful policy and regulatory landscape to empower patients to better engage in their healthcare.

Now, patients and their designated caregivers become the direct connectors to their records and gain new control over whether, how and when to share critical, up-to-date health information with their physicians. As mobile devices are increasingly becoming the platform of choice for accessing information, patients who are accessing and storing their Blue Button records on their own devices can drive the exchange of information anytime and at any point of care.

This is especially important for patients who visit multiple specialists throughout the year and who are prescribed different drugs by these different physicians.

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