Patients Have Difficulty Understanding Health Records
According to Zikmund-Fisher, “Improving how we show people their health data may be a simple but powerful way to improve health outcomes.”
Having the ability to check your health records electronically sounds like a beneficial tool for someone to possess, but a recent discovery by a team from the University of Michigan schools of Public Health and Medicine just might make you think twice before giving yourself a clean bill of health.
The discovery entails that people with low literacy skills and low numerical comprehension are only half as likely to determine if their lab results lie within the standard range. In turn, this also leads people to become less likely to dictate whether or not they need to contact their doctor based on their lab results.
The discovery branches from an online survey administered by the team to over 1800 between the ages 40-70 of which half had already been diagnosed with diabetes. The survey called for the adults to answer as if they had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The adults were shown common blood tests and were measured on their ability to apply simple mathematical concepts and health literacy skills.
The results showed that 77% of those who were assessed to have a higher mathematical and literacy skill set could identify whether or not the results fell within the standard range while just 38% of people with low literacy and math skill sets could make the same identification.
While this technology gives people the power to view their own health records and make decisions for themselves, we are still far from making the system perfect. It’s vital that patient-facing software have intuitive and user-friendly data visualization tools and language so that all patients understand the information they are being shown.
Source: Modern HealthCare, 8/20/14
How To Qualify Your Website for Stage 2 Meaningful Use
If you have ever wondered how to increase the amount of users on your portal, today might just be your lucky day. Dell’s CMO for global healthcare consulting recently published a piece in InformationWeek Healthcare explaining different strategies for engaging users into using your portal. In order to qualify for stage 2 meaningful use, 5% of your patients must access their own medical records, here are just a few ideas on how to make sure that happens:
- Develop a combination of a strong and engaging patient portal and promotion through social media. The portal can be accessed before and during hospitalization and the ability to continuously promote the portal through social media will always be an asset. People diagnosed with diseases have an inherent desire to learn more about their disease and they will be more intrigued to click on your portal if they know it will link them to information they can easily understand and learn from.
- Engage the patient in the use of the portal during the course of hospitalization. This can be accomplished through simply having a staff member on hand to help patients set up accounts.
- Provide information that patients and families will find to be useful. This includes visiting hours, parking information, meal options, gift shop items, restaurants nearby, hotels and retail stores. Just this little bit of information can make the lives of patients and family members that much easier and help improve the number of users on your portal.
- Give the patients a place to record data and ask vital questions. This just provided yet another use for the portal and for patients and families to access it.
Source: InformationWeek Healthcare, 8/26/14
ONC Pinpoints 5 Problems with HIE
The health information exchange ecosystem may be on course for a full renovation as the ONC has pinpointed five problems it has consistently encountered. The issues were based on factors such as severity and commonness, the impact on private and secure exchange and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s ability to solve such problems.
The problems include:
- Inconsistent identification proofing practices for data users
- Varying patient matching standards and methods
- Varying approaches for how data holders should respond to queries
- No minimum standard of authentication practices for access to electronic data
- Too many trust bundles tied to differing trust/security policies
Source: FierceHealthIT, 8/28/14
Graphic of the Week: 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare – 2014
Source: Modern Healthcare