Patricia Flatley Brennan, R.N., Ph.D., Project HealthDesign Director
Because so many of the Stage 1 meaningful use criteria apply primarily to professionals’ uses of health information technology (HIT) in clinical care settings, Project HealthDesign is pleased to see criteria proposed in Stage 2 that would allow patients to become beneficiaries of meaningful use of HIT.
Meaningful use shouldn’t focus exclusively on electronic health records (EHRs) and clinical care settings. It’s time to ensure that the benefits of HIT meaningful use extend to the everyday lives of patients and families.
We call for accelerating the criteria for meaningful use Stage 2 that would lead HIT to:
- Exchange health data back and forth between EHRs, which house clinically originated data, and PHRs, which house patient-originated data. Health data arise from a variety of sources. Our work on Project HealthDesign has shown that patients value health data that they themselves define and generate. These types of health data, or observations of daily living (ODLs), can include data related to mood, pain levels and even sleep quality.
- Allow patients to invite trusted others, including family members, friends and surrogate decision-makers, to access selected health data. The coordination of patient care would benefit from this type of shared access, which engages patients, clinicians and other individuals designated by the patient while also allowing each patient to maintain the level of privacy he or she desires.
Now is the time for a broader, bolder approach to meaningful use. Patients are relying on HIT professionals to ensure that the bilateral exchange of health data between EHRs and PHRs is meaningful for both patients and clinicians. For more information, please read the full Project HealthDesign Stage 2 meaningful use comments.