A new era of health IT is paving the way to a new future in patient engagement, empowering caregivers to help patients take control of their own health. Automated online healthcare systems such as Get Real Health’s InstantPHR™ helps practitioners to pull together data from multiple sources. This enables a meaningful analysis of patient information and focuses the spotlight on patient requirements, triggering a transformation from evidence-based treatment to personalized care. With all one’s own data available at one’s fingertips online, patients are now able to leave the backseat and become full partners in their care processes.
Get Real Health’s Jennifer Dunphy, BSN, OCN, CBCN, attended the ‘At the Crossroads of Patient Care’ summit on Friday March 21, 2014 hosted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the American Nurses Association. The purpose of the conference was to give nurses useful information to transform healthcare delivery and improve healthcare outcomes, as the immense support of nurses has improved the care of patients. In the keynote address, Judy Murphy, Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT addressed the issue of how to gather meaningful data that will help practitioners engage patients with their health. Murphy called patient engagement “the blockbuster drug of the century”.
With the Affordable Care Act, the national infrastructure has laid the groundwork to facilitate both care delivery and payment reform and the EHR incentive has prompted an automation of health care. “We still do not have coordination between all institutions and professionals involved, but we are making strides” said Murphy. She added that not all necessary data can be captured without all patients seeing a practitioner, which will not happen until everyone has medical insurance. The challenge for rural populations, besides the lack of insurance, is the limited number of healthcare providers and problems with logistics. The delay in providing care to these patients means that they are much sicker when a caregiver finally sees them.
Information technology is currently in use in the health sector to make information available to patients, but the future will enable them to use this data to monitor their health and take control to improve their own health. The United States is currently in 37th place for healthcare quality with about five times the cost. But a tipping point has been reached with the automation of healthcare, and the future looks promising. Patients used to be passive recipients of health care but with the reforms in Health IT, they have become active participants. Patients and caregivers will now be in charge of a care system that is tailored to each patient’s specific needs.