In the age when digital sharing has become such an integral part of our lives, patient expectations regarding receiving high-quality personal health care are heavily linked with medical industries ability in sharing health records.
According to the study done by Transcend Insights , a vast majority of patients (97 percent) believe it is important for any health institution, regardless of type or location, to have access to their full medical history in order to receive high-quality care. Patients consider access to their own medical records the ability for care providers to easily share and receive important information about their medical history—wherever they needed treatment.
But in reality, there is a significant gap between the standard of information sharing patients expect and what is available today. Even with the high level of digitization that happened in the healthcare sector over last few years, effectively sharing health data and communicating across patient and different EHR systems – known as interoperability has still proven quite difficult. According to a recent study done by American Hospital Association, only one-fourth of all hospitals in the US are able to find, send, receive and use clinical information from electronic health record systems of other provider organizations. It is also found that medical information about a patient reaches only 34.8% of the specialist even when the primary care physicians try to share the patient records. But the majority of the patients believe that the doctors are easily able to share and access their medical history at any time when they need health care.
The study also found that 64% of patients surveyed use mobile devices and apps in some capacity to manage their health and they believe that it would be useful for their doctors to access this health data as part of their medical history. Mobile devices can be used to have continues access to personal health records. Wearable devices like Withings blood pressure, Fitbit, pebble time and Apple smartwatch can collect data continuously and provide insights into our health and fitness. To provide a higher quality of health care, a complete picture is essential where patient collected health data about non-medically attended health episodes and over the counter medications as well as a fitness activity, nutrition and environmental data is combined with official health records collected by health professionals. But lack of interoperability and the presence of data silos prevents healthcare professionals from getting such an integrated view of health data.
Mobile apps can be used to aggregate health and fitness data and can enable interoperability. By lessening the adverse effects of health data silos, mobile apps can offer a more holistic view of health and fitness data. Data can then be analyzed to offer better and more personalized medical advice and care. Patients are more likely to completely trust the health care they receive from any medical professional when he or she has access to their full medical history.