Easy patient-access to health records in Ontario has lagged behind the rest of the country and the world. While data on treatment and health history is now collected electronically, until recently there has not been a safe and simple way for health facilities to share this information with patients.
Hospitals and healthcare providers want to offer patients access to records, data, recommendations, advice and support. This access can increase patient knowledge and compliance, and lead to increased health and wellness. Secure communication is the key.
Mohawk College teamed up with researchers at McMaster University to explore secure methods to integrate Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Patient Health Records (PHRs) to put more relevant data in the patient’s hands – with less chance of losing data.
The Mohawk/McMaster research team came up with a communicative and connected process.
A customizable, open-source medical records system developed at McMaster, OSCAR, feeds patient data to a patient identifier cross-referencing tool (PIX manager). The PIX manager updates patient records to a cross-enterprise document sharing system (an XDS registry). This data is then available for a third party patient health record system to fetch, by cross-referencing the patient’s record identifier and fetching the document identifier from the cross-enterprise shared system. This means patient information about lab results, diagnostics and treatment from several hospital departments or clinics can be stored in the cross-enterprise registry and retrieved by a patient using a secure patient identifier.
The coordinated system offers new capabilities for doctors to offer their patients better insight into their own health history.