Thursday, June 25, 2009

Your Care in MiCare

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Posted by: Staff

Today, Col. Keith L. Salzman, M.D., M.P.H., gives an update on the personal health record pilot program going on at Madigan Army Medical Center at Ft. Lewis, Wash. Salzman is Chief, Western Regional Medical Command/ Madigan Army Medical Center Informatics.

It’s been almost 12 months since Madigan Army Medical Center started MiCare to bring the concept of a personal health record (PHR) to military beneficiaries.
Through demonstration projects with industry leaders Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health, we have been able to take personal medical information from the MHS electronic medical record, AHLTA, and put the information in our patients’ hands. Into their own personal health record—the patient owns a copy and controls it. Over 400 patients at Madigan have participated in the MiCare, and they like what they see.
It’s been an important year—and it’s paving the way for DoD to be able to share medical information with our patients in an even more comprehensive way. Here are just a few of the early benefits we are seeing from this demonstration project:
  • Patients become partners in their care. Our patients are viewing their lab test results, medication profiles, medical histories and are enabled to be more active participants in managing their medical issues. (The traffic on open accounts is about 10 percent a day).
  • PHRs improve the quality of the information in AHLTA. By sharing medical information with our patients, we are also improving our own systems and we’re better prepared for a patient visit. Medication profiles and medical histories can be outdated—when we share our information from the patient, we introduce another quality control check that ensures the information we look at in AHLTA is more current and relevant.
  • PHRs improve the provider-patient interaction and compliance. We’re in the early stages of this project, but we are also seeing that patients who use a PHR are asking more questions and becoming more engaged in following their treatment plans.
This is an early report from the field. We have much more to do—more capabilities to add, more technical issues to resolve, and expansion to a larger group of users. But in Year One, we are dealing with the big issues—and focused on the end results: improving the quality of every visit, improving the quality of care, and increasing patient participation in their care.
Greater transparency and sharing between AHLTA and the MiCare PHR has great benefits for our patients and our system. As the country engages in an active debate about the future of our health system, the Military Health System is poised to be a leader in this area.
Our team at Madigan is excited to share the results of this pilot program with others in this system. We don’t have all the answers and don’t even know all the questions. I would like to hear from any of you in the MHS. Where do you think the PHR is directed? What are the most valuable uses of a PHR—for patients and for providers? What bridges should be built between our EHR and a PHR? Please share your thoughts and I will continue to provide MiCare updates over the coming months.

Posted at 2009-06-24 12:59:34 in Technology| Permalink

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