The Kansas Health Information Network in Topeka knows that patient empowerment is key to improving population health —and it knows that patients need help to be a part of the process.
That’s why KHIN has found a way to enable patients to receive all of their health information in one location, rather than through the more traditional electronic health record-tethered patient portal, which forces patients to use a portal for each provider. Instead, KHIN connected the HIE to a statewide patient portal in January 2015 and is now able to send patients their care summaries from hospitals and clinics across the state as well as sending discreet HL7 data.
“We automatically forward to a patient’s EHR, via the portal, anything that we get, including notes and reports,” said Laura McCrary, KHIN’s executive director. “We didn’t think it was a big deal but, apparently, this isn’t done much across the nation.”
The beauty of it is, patients don’t need to sign in to three or five portals only to write down the information from one on a piece of paper and transfer it to another. KHIN keeps it all together for them, McCrary said.
“It’s all we can do to get them to log into one portal,” she said. KHIN’s portal provides “a more holistic set of information for patients.”
Authentication is critical to KHIN’s success and the HIE found that traditional methods used in the financial industry, for instance, were not working because patients often did not remember the necessary information. So KHIN took a different tack and began authenticating patients with information that was already in their EHR, such as doctor’s name, medical conditions, last treatments, McCrary said.
The HIE also built a portal into the state’s immunization registry that allows patients to download a copy of their immunization records, or those of their children.
“It’s one of the things our patients asked us to do, and it has helped out tremendously at the beginning of the school year when parents need vaccination records fast in order to send their child to school.”
McCrary and Brenda Olson, vice president of the health information management at the Great Plains Health Alliance, also located in Topeka, will give a presentation at HIMSS17 in Orlando on Feb. 20 titled “Statewide Portal - Advantage for Patients and Providers,” from 10:30 to 11:30AM in Hall F3.
runs from Feb. 19-23, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.