Patient-generated health data has the power to improve patient care, not just by completing EHR data, but by empowering the patient to engage in their own health.
Between completing EHR information and empowering the patient as a part of the care team, patient-generated health data has the potential to be an integral part of enhancing the overall care for an individual.
The healthcare industry is making headway toward realizing this end in several efforts made to increase the prevalence of patient-generated health data, including using patient-generated data as a part of Stage 3 Meaningful Use requirements, underscore its benefits in other health IT-related initiatives.
But what makes patient-generated health data unique? And how can it aid the complete use of EHRs and improve patient care? By taking a look at patient-generated health data and how it’s gathered, we can better understand its overall healthcare benefits:
There is a boom in healthcare in India and new hospitals are launched every day. But it is ironical that the beds are not getting occupied despite big gap between the demand and supply of beds. "India needs huge investments in creating healthcare infrastructure" is the usual beginning slide in any healthcare conference presentation and hence it sounds a little odd that beds are still unoccupied. The main reason, is the high cost of healthcare (despite being cheapest in the world?). How do we tackle the problem?. Nothing BUT deeper penetration of health insurance can improve this as the main issue for low occupancy is inability of the patients to bear the cost of treatment. Penetration of health insurance is pretty poor in India except for bigger towns where awareness is much better than the tier II and III cities. Rural India is still untouched by that phenomenon. The success of RSBY scheme for the unorganized sector has paved the way to reach the common man wherein a family gets covered for Rs.30,000/- for a small premium. Sure that in future, there will be linkage of NREGA and the UID project (Unique Identification Number project spear headed by Mr Nandan Nilekani of Infosys) with such schemes to make healthcare affordable and available for all citizens. In fact it will be good idea to reimburse the public hospitals for the treatment they give to poor patients through schemes like RSBY to make them self sustainable. Giving free healthcare will not work for country of our size in terms of population and geographic expanse.
Most of us are well versed with the fact that cloud technology enables healthcare organizations to concentrate their efforts on services being delivered and improved patient outcomes, significantly reducing the load of work of infrastructure management, simplifying technology adoption and driving down operational costs . Forbes had some time back reported that HIMSS Analytics’ survey of cloud computing adoption in healthcare provider organizations researched that 83% of the executives report they are using cloud services today.
The first step
A Digital Healthcare company should filter out potential cloud partners for their procedural, physical, operational and technical readiness to incorporate the PHI (Protected Health Information) ensuring the safety of the transactions containing PHI data. Any good-established commercial hosting facility has a variety of industry certificates: ISO 27001, PCI DSS Level 1, SSAE 16 etc. When it comes to claiming HIPAA compliance, cloud vendors often include terms such as HIPAA enabled, which very well represents the security-related technical capabilities excluding legal compliances.
Gone are the days when doctors had to struggle through folders and bunches of papers to find crucial information about medical history of a patient. Enter 21st Century , Electronic Health records are replacing and helping efficient healthcare delivery .
An EHR ,a digital version of the traditional paper-based charts used by doctors to record medical information for an individual is now a known entity. The EMR represents a medical record within a single facility, such as a doctor's office or a clinic. What is still not well understood is the differentiation between EMR and EHR’S and how it can affect population health outcomes. This is what differentiates EHR’s Or Electronic health records from EHR’s which extend to cover medical and clinical records across multiple facilities ,providers, hospitals, and even across states. Moreover , EHRs help in easy sharing of patient’s medical information with other healthcare providers for the patient.