Defining Patient-centric Health IT

Boone_KeithPatient-centric Health IT

Keith Boone, Healthcare Standards

A question came up on the Society for Participatory Medicine’s e-mail list the other day.  Basically, it boiled down to how we would define Patient-centric Health IT.As a patient, I have some pretty clear ideas about this.  To get at them, let’s look at what I consider to be valuable:

  1. My Health
  2. My Money
  3. My Time
  4. Access to My Information
  5. Access to other information that is pertinent to any of the above
Here’s my initial set of requirements.  Patient-centric Health IT makes it possible for me:
[1,2] To understand how much my health issues are costing me currently, and how much it could cost me in the future.
[2] To understand what my costs are for different treatment options at different locations.
[1,2,3] To be able to compare and contrast my options for different providers with respect to availability, distance, cost, quality and effectiveness.
[3] To quickly and easily schedule appointments at times that are convenient for me electronically.
[3] To quickly and easily obtain a telehealth consultation for health issues that aren’t urgent or emergent.
[1,3] To quickly and easily communicate with my healthcare providers.
[1,2,3] To be able to coordinate my care with my healthcare providers.
[1,3] To quickly and easily access care for urgent and emergent issues.
[3] To quickly and easily fill and refill my prescriptions.
[4] To access my health information electronically, automatically, without any further intervention once I’ve set it up.
[4] To understand my health information.  This could be a lab report, my health record, or any other sort of health data.
These are the kinds of things that I really enjoy working on, because I can see how it directly benefits me.
Keith Boone is the “Standards Geek” for GE Healthcare, and cochair several committees in organizations such as IHE and HL7. He writes about Healthcare Standards where this article was originally published. You can follow him on Twitter where you can follow him @motorcycle_guy.