3 posts tagged “electronic health records”

Our Pledge to You, the Patient

Posted September 12th, 2011 by

“We founded PatientsLikeMe on the concept that sharing health data could lead to a more empowered patient and better overall healthcare system. It’s an exciting and giant step forward for us as an industry as we unite around making health data more accessible to those that matter most – the patients.”

Ben Heywood, PatientsLikeMe Co-Founder, President

Today the first-ever Consumer Health IT Summit is taking place in Washington, DC. Sponsored by a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), this new initiative is designed to empower individuals to be more engaged in their health through the use of health information technology (IT).

During the summit, both government health agencies and private sector organizations like PatientsLikeMe will be highlighting the ways they plan to support your access to electronic health data. For example, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius unveiled new proposed rules that would expand the rights of patients to access their health information as well as a model privacy notice template that can be used in the process. In addition, HealthIT.gov, a new resource for consumer health empowerment, was announced.

Visit HealthIT.gov today to learn more about your right to access your own health information

PatientsLikeMe is participating in this important initiative by making our own pledge to you, which we are committed to completing by spring 2012.

“We pledge to make it easier for individuals and their caregivers to have timely access to their health information in a convenient, useable format through our website.  As we continue to encourage and enable them to use this information to improve their health and their care, we pledge to:

1) improve patients’ accessibility to their personal health information by making our Doctor Visit Sheet (a document detailing an individual’s health data and experience) downloadable through multiple formats, including electronically readable formats like PDFs and the “Blue Button” ASCII text standard format;

2) encourage patients to dialogue with their peers and providers about the benefits of accessing and understanding their health data;

3) continue “Putting Patients First” by building a website that helps them to share, access and learn from their health information online.”

What’s a Blue Button, you ask? An open government initiative, Blue Button represents a collaboration between the Veteran’s Administration and HHS to develop an online feature that would enable Veterans and Medicare beneficiaries to easily read, use and share their personal health information with providers and others they trust. The ASCII text file format was selected for its ease of use by individuals, while allowing computers to easily “read” the information.


Patients like me declare our health data rights

Posted June 22nd, 2009 by

“We the people…have the right to our own health data.”

That’s part of a collective new Declaration of Health Rights, officially unveiled tonight on the newly launched HealthDataRights.org. It is time to turn the conversation from fear and privacy to sharing data and finding new treatments and better care.

healthdatarightslogo_graph-1

The Declaration represents reality that what we are doing does not work and does not serve the patient, and this reality is being declared tonight simultaneously via blogs by all stakeholders in healthcare.  I recently wrote about how sharing is a right.  This Declaration articulates these inalienable rights, as it provides a straightforward definition of health data rights to ensure the flow of meaningful data.  We are that much closer to getting you, the patient, at the center of the health system.

This started with a simple conversation; a conversation about sharing data between two health systems that spurred additional conversation and more.  In the end, so many of us agreed that what we need to do is let the data flow and the information become meaningful. Our collective goal is to ensure that healthcare gets better, quality is improved, and yes, treatments are developed faster.  That is what we stand for and that is what we are working to do.

Below is the Declaration in its entirety.  Read it aloud.  Think about what it means to you.  To us, and the thousands of patients we represent at PatientsLikeMe, this Declaration means that we can truly participate in our own healthcare.  To us, the endorsements of well-known and respected healthcare leaders and organizations for this Declaration signify our nation’s unity in preserving the right to have and share health data.  This is why PatientsLikeMe endorses this Declaration.

Once you’ve read it, know that you, too, can endorse our Declaration of Health Data Rights.  To learn more, go to www.HealthDataRights.org and don’t forget, you have the right.

Declaration of Health Data Rights

In an era when technology is allowing personal health information to be more easily stored, updated, accessed and exchanged, the following rights should be self-evident and inalienable. We the people:

•    Have the right to our own health data
•    Have the right to know the source of each health data element
•    Have the right to take possession of a complete copy of our individual health data, without delay, at minimal or no cost; If data exist in computable form, they must be made available in that form
•    Have the right to share our health data with others as we see fit

These principles express basic human rights as well as essential elements of health care that are participatory, appropriate and in the interests of each patient. No law or policy should abridge these rights.

So what can you do?  You can endorse it here ; you can endorse it via Twitter (enter #myhealthdata); you can join our  Facebook page and show your support; and perhaps you can even record and share a video reading the Declaration aloud… “I have the right to my own health data.”  Yes, you do.

PatientsLikeMe member jamie