Healthcare players of all shapes and sizes, including big players like the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) are honing in on patient experience. From an initial patient contact – through a phone call, a website visit, telehealth or a step inside a clinic – healthcare providers are looking towards a world where patients feel confident and comfortable with their healthcare options. One of the biggest ways these companies are moving towards this goal is through the use of technology.
HIMSS, in conjunction with Continua Health Alliance and the mHealth Summit, just last week announced the creation of the Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHA). According to PCHA acting chairman Clint McClellan, PCHA is designed to “engage consumers with their health via personalized solutions that are designed for user-friendly connectivity and meet their lifestyle needs.” This notion of consumer (a synonym for patient) engagement is a large part of improving the patient experience – and technology is helping to do it.
With new developments in personal health monitoring and tracking, both patients and their healthcare providers can monitor vital signs and lifestyle choices in real time. Tracking this data keeps patients thoroughly engaged in the healthcare process, better able to see how their health is improving and make those choices that are right for them.
Of course, a side effect of increased health tracking is the creation of even more patient data, adding the digital equivalent of reams of pages to each engaged patient’s PHR. This new data can improve the patient experience, but it also adds a level of risk. That data must be protected, but also accessible.
A patient needs to keep track of his or her own PHR, which can be a daunting task. The best patient experience is one that keeps track of health data – lists of medications, medical history, and anything else necessary to receive the best-informed treatment from any healthcare provider – but does not leave it vulnerable to identity theft and unwanted access.
RecordVault is an easy and affordable way for patients to track their own health data while keeping it safe. Patients can store their confidential health information using the mobile app which keeps it safe from the prying eyes that could be lurking on any wireless network. The big advantage – since the patient data is readily available on the mobile device, the patient can easily access it during appointments or emergencies and share the information with his or her doctor.
This type of sharing is another key to the patient experience in today’s tech-savvy world. Dr. Robert Rowley, a family physician and healthcare blogger, writing about the age of the internet and the availability of both personal and general health information, says “the physician becomes a trusted source, and a guide through the chaos.”
Ultimately, the way that technology is improving the patient experience is by offering patients increased access to both personal health data and general health and wellness information. When doctors and patients are able to work together through technology, outcomes and patient satisfaction are improved.