Personal health records, once seen as a way for patients to have control of their medical information, are not nearly as prevalent as they once were. That’s due in large part to the wide spread push for electronic medical records (EMR) adoption, not to mention the fact that patients were responsible for manually updating the personal health record data. However, there are still a few around.
One of them - Microsoft’s HealthVault – is now being billed as a medical record system and is adding new features to make it appealing to both physicians and patients. The recently updated version of HealthVault has the ability to send encrypted copies of patients’ medical records via e-mail.
This new feature meets security protocols set by the Office of the National Coordinator’s Direct project. Medical records sent through Microsoft's HealthVault system are saved to a user's profile on HealthVault, making it easy for patients to access their medical history when they go to the doctor. Microsoft hopes to expand the system to doctors by giving them the ability share and discuss via HealthVault just as they would with a regular e-mail exchange.
Other ways Microsoft is working to make HealthVault more than just a repository for medical information is by offering modules that use the stored patient information to custom tailor items such as workouts and dietary recommendations. Since its introduction, Microsoft has collaborated with companies like CVS Caremark to share prescription history. Also, consumers can upload information such as vital signs and other medical data from their monitoring devices to HealthVault.
From there the stored information can be easily shared with healthcare providers. In addition, Microsoft has unveiled HealthVault Community Connect software aimed at helping the coordination of care between hospitals and referring-doctors while engaging patients. HealthVault Community Connect allows hospitals of any size to give post-discharge access to patient data to both patients and their referring doctors.
HealthVault Community Connect also allows patients to pre-register for hospital procedures and admissions via the hospital's Web portal. At that time, patients can create a HealthVault personal e-health record account. In addition, patients can give permission so that their referring doctor can also access that information via the hospital’s portal.
Jennifer is a Wisconsin based writer. She has a special interest in technology. Her works have been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and online. Her business background has allowed her to work in various fields including; Construction, Accounting and most recently Audio Visual.