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Stop Looking to Your Mother’s PHR for Future Insight!

Tags: health reform | patient advocacy | Phr

by: Jim Hansen, Vice President & Executive Director, Dossia Consortium

Looking to the impact of previous (and most current) generation PHRs to predict their future importance to health wellness and health care, given the dramatic shifts now occurring in the industry and in society, is like analyzing best-practice travel agency electronic airfare ticket handling in the mid 1990s to predict the success and impact of self-service electronic airfare ticketing in the late 1990s and beyond. It doesn’t account for the significant underlying paradigm shift that is occurring.

Next generation person-centric life-long health record platforms and the associated applications and processes that leverage them are not your Mother’s PHR of old – they are key to the transformed future “health wellness and care system” – here’s why.

Given the pervasive brokenness of the health care so-called “system”, the challenges facing health information exchange initiatives, and most importantly the powerfully entrenched industry health data hoarders, the only way you as a patient can be assured that you and your care team has the best possible relevant information is if you drive or oversee the process yourself, as only you will know if it is complete or not.  The fundamental question each consumer/patient needs to consider today is: do you want to take the chance on you or your families’ health, wallet and maybe even life that somehow, given the serious systemic hurdles outlined above, your data is going to magically come together in a comprehensive and complete way at the point of critical care decision-making any time soon?

Like many other important decisions in American society, if you want it done right you have to take control and do it yourself.  The government’s policy makers through the HITECH Act and Meaningful Use Stage One requirements definition have vastly improved a consumer/patient’s ability (along with a designated partner/agent such as Dossia) to take on this important responsibility.

Just as importantly, at the same time at least seven related key converging trends are leading us to a major paradigm shift in the industry:

  • Growing recognition by physicians of the value of patient-sourced information (e.g., preferences, drug side-affect feedback, environmental factors) within the care decision-making process,
  • Increasing consumer/patient financial skin in the game,
  • Increasing patient-physician communications and joint outcome accountability,
  • Movement to care models (e.g. medical home, accountable care organizations) and associated payment reform approaches that cannot reach their outcome and financial potential without leveraging a holistic 360 degree view of a patient’s data,
  • Changing consumer/patient perspectives on health information privacy, sharing and associated control,
  • Impending rapid growth of automatic gathering and remote monitoring of consumer/patient-sourced biometric and other data (both chronic disease and wellness related), and
  • The exploding interest in mobile applications by both consumer/patients and caregivers that can only reach their true interactive potential by leveraging an integrated, comprehensive, person-centric health data view.

The combination of these unprecedented policy changes and trends creates both a powerful catalyst and disruptive environment for person-centric health records and their associated applications to be a key component within our future transformed health wellness and care system.

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