Sharing your personal health record with anyone you choose just became easier. Rather than paying for the copying of records, picking them up, and delivering them to another member of your health care team (whether they be a specialist, family member, home care provider or healthcare advocate), invite them to view it for up to 30 days. That is the innovation introduced this week by Google Health and flagged by Dana Blankenhorn at ZDNet Healthcare.
Apart from reducing the price and increasing the convenience of coordinated healthcare to the consumer, the private sector's recognition of taking a consumer-oriented approach to health practices like the PHR is one that is sure to stir debate among privacy advocates and SHOULD force a reexamination of the misguided and unintentional consequences of HIPAA. It will also likely improve everyone's chances of receiving better quality medical care when everyone on the team knows not just the score, but the flow of the game.
One of the biggest obstacles to expanding the use of information technology (IT) in health care may be, ironically, the current narrow focus on how to stimulate its adoption. IT is a tool, not a goal. Success should not be measured by the number of hospitals with computerized order entry systems or patients with electronic personal health records. Success is when clinical outcomes improve. Success is when everyone can learn which methods and treatments work, and which don't, in days instead of decades.
More about health communication, health policy and health IT here.
And if you missed receiving what President Obama called the hottest ticket in town, Rebecca Adelman was live-blogging from the White House Forum on Health Reform today.