Patient care provision, co-ordination of care, and important processes such as medical record review are expected to improve with the introduction and widespread use of electronic medical records. The new system will allow patients to access their health information over the internet.
Recently, the Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE) introduced a new tool that will enable patients to access their personal medical records through the medium of the internet. KHIE has developed an online resource through which patients can access and store their medical records and personal health information. Though this project is only in its beginning stage with numerous healthcare facilities across the state, it will be made available to the public later this year. Patient engagement will play a positive role in building a statewide health information exchange; apart from improving record keeping, it will also enable providers to ensure better care. Here are some of the benefits expected.
- Kentucky patients can access, aggregate, manage and share health information for themselves and family members.
- Secure and easy access to information.
- Accurate and up-to-date records for medications, allergies, health conditions, lab results and other critical health data.
- Improved communication and coordination of care, reduced errors and unnecessary cost and service duplication.
Does the System Work for All Categories of Patients?
Perhaps not. Many older Americans are likely to be left behind. People with physical impairments may not be using the internet as much as other older Americans. According to a report highlighting a study conducted under the leadership of Dr. S. Ryan Greysen from the University of California, internet use is quite low among functionally impaired people. Individuals with functional impairments have to start increasing their use of the internet or they are going to be left behind in the new age of EMR. Those with functional limitations must be encouraged to use the internet and special strategies can be adopted for the same. For instance, they can use special software on their computers to have the text of a website read out to them, or to operate a computer with voice commands in the place of a mouse and keyboard.