Delivering patient data and results electronically without adding medical context is a troubling byproduct of health technology, according to a recent Washington Post article. The piece, written in conjunction with Kaiser Health, chronicles the hazards in simply making lab and testing results available to patients online without a clinical interpretation of that data.
A recent study found that nearly two-thirds of 95 patients who obtained test results via a portal received no explanatory information about the findings. As a result, nearly half conducted online searches to assist them and stumbled on diagnostic information that ranged from the benign to the alarming.
These findings are not surprising to Get Real Health’s Senior Clinical Strategist, Jennifer Bowers. “Mere access to data should not be the end goal of health IT,” Bowers explains. “The data patients see needs to be relevant, interpreted and actionable. Otherwise, they are left to their own devices and susceptible to unverified medical advice.”
Making patient data come to life is the backbone of our product design. Our solutions can be configured to give patients educational content to help them understand results either in conjunction with a professional consultation or as a guide until a practitioner can be consulted.
Additionally, a platform can be set up to make data available to patients only after a practitioner has added comments or an explanation. A flexible architecture allows for customization that best suits a particular patient demographic and practice workflow.
Our products also feature secure messaging which alleviates the frustration of trying to catch a doctor to get clarification by phone. This capability fosters an ongoing dialogue between patient and caregiver that encourages questions and communication and makes patients feel more supported.
The article also states that, “releasing results on portals remains an answer with many questions,” but we at Get Real Health never questioned the importance of fully informed users and offer solutions that alleviate the gap in data delivery and interpretation.
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