Apparently some pharmacists are worried about personal health records

Healthcare IT Consultant Blog: “Pharmacists’ representatives have claimed that use of private health record services such as Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault could risk fragmentation of electronic patient records. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain said “the proliferation of these systems and indiscriminate use” could lead to information on drug allergies, possible interactions, duplications or dose adjustments not being available when it was needed. The society, which was responding to a consultation by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics on medical profiling and online medicine, said there could be “serious patient safety implications”. It argued that the single health record supports the seamless transfer of care between primary and secondary settings and promoted multi- disciplinary working.” – I don’t necessarily agree with “the society” about personal health records. Personal health records – like medication lists carried in wallets, purses, and pockets – serve as additional information to an already detailed health system record. The technology is in its infancy and further growth and development should be encouraged. I believe it empowers the individual with enough control to become interested in their own care. I wouldn’t remove a patient allergy from the pharmacy system based solely on the information in a patient’s personal medical record, but would certainly investigate the opposite. First hand information directly from the patient is a valuable commodity. I remember interviewing patients upon admission to Long/Moffit Hospital on the UCSF campus when I was a 4th year pharmacy student. Many times asking the right questions led to the patient remembering something they had forgotten. If that information would have been in a digital personal medical record, the patient’s lack of memory becomes a non-issue. UCSF had the luxury of 30 pharmacy students running around talking to patients. Most hospitals aren’t so lucky.

2 thoughts on “Apparently some pharmacists are worried about personal health records”

  1. I agree with you 100% on this one, Jerry. Not quite sure how having more info available that more easily flows from one setting to the next is a bad thing. Sure, there might be some bad or conflicting data, but the advantages of having more good data than might be known otherwise has to outway that concern.

    I’ve heard about HealthVault but haven’t seriously considered using it… your blog piqued my interest again and I just checked it out, and I think I’ll try it out. There is a 7-minute video about how it works at http://www.healthvault.com/Personal/index.html – despite the cheesy acting and obvious partner advertising it did convince me that there would be value to storing my family’s data there, plus the computers that the family and doctor at Texas Health Resources use are pretty sweet! Do you HealthVault (or similar) systems? I’d be interested in any feedback from someone using it before I try it out. For now, its on my ToDo list…

  2. Hi Konrad – I’m in the same boat as you. A few weeks back I started giving HealthVault and Google Health the once over. I think the advantage of having some records in a centralized location would be a great advantage. If you’ve ever applied for a job in a hospital, then you know about all the shot records, TB tests, etc. they want on file before they hire you. No matter how organized I think I am, somehow I always manage to lose those records. There’s some great information on both systems available all over the net. A couple of good looks are http://blog.crossoverhealth.com/2009/08/05/microsoft-vaults-ahead-into-the-personal-health-information-space/ and http://www.pointanddo.com/2009/07/in-depth-demo-of-amalga-and-health.html. There are also several people on Twitter using HealthVault, which seems to be more popular than Google Health at the moment.

    You’re right about the sweet touch screen computer and the Surface device in the physicians office. Wicked cool technology! You know me, I’m a sucker for touch screen technology. Thanks for stopping by.

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