Consumer Engagement

Portrait of Lana Moriarty

Understanding the Patient Experience to Improve Patient Access to Medical Records

Lana Moriarty | July 11, 2017

Melissa Crawford is a mother from Concord, NH.  Her two year old daughter, Ava, has a congenital heart defect and was recently diagnosed with epilepsy.  Melissa loves Ava’s physician’s patient portal since it allows her to easily book appointments and refill Ava’s medications online.  But when Ava’s pediatrician needed medical records from Ava’s five specialists, the various patient portals did not provide all the health information the doctor needed.  Melissa set off on a stressful and complicated journey to gather the information from the five specialists in time for Ava’s appointment with her pediatrician.

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Portrait of Lana Moriarty

Trusted Content from Healthfinder.gov Can Improve Patient Portals

Lana Moriarty | June 22, 2017

The ONC Patient Engagement (PE) Playbook was created by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to help healthcare professionals use health information technology (health IT) to provide better care to patients. The PE Playbook focuses specifically on electronic health record (EHR) patient portals, which allow both patients and healthcare teams, concurrent with patients’ privacy preferences, to easily access patient health information — which may lead to increased benefits for healthcare,

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Portrait of Talisha Searcy

New Data Show More Hospitals than Ever Making Information Available Electronically to Patients

Talisha Searcy | September 13, 2016

To help individuals manage their health, beginning in 2011, the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs called on health care providers to enable patients to electronically view, download, and transmit their health information to a destination of the patient’s choice. In 2015, the Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap [PDF – 2.6 MB] reaffirmed this objective.

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Portrait of Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo

Empowering Patients: New Videos to Promote Access to Electronic Health Information

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo | June 2, 2016

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a HIPAA fact sheet earlier this year reinforcing patients’ right to access their health information and clarifying, among other things, that patients may be charged only limited fees for copies of their health information.  Many people are not fully aware of their right to access their own medical records under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), including the right to access an electronic copy when their health information is stored electronically.

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