Startup Will Build New York's Ambitious Patient Portal
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Charlene Ngamwajasat MD
Charlene Ngamwajasat MD,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/20/2014 | 5:11:42 PM
Physician Member of the Mana Health Portal Team
Thank you for covering the portal. It's something I'm proud to have contributed to as both a native New Yorker and a physician who has trained, worked and lived in NYC all her life. 

In terms of security, it's part startup responsibility, part state, part whoever plugs into the portal, but my personal opinion is that everyone should treat it like it's 100% their responsibility. As you know health data is incredibly rich and there can be ramifications to data leaks or security hacks. We hear about leaks at least once a week in industry articles as well those from general press. 

I'm glad we were chosen and that the public who voted as well as the NYEC judges liked the design. It was meant to be exactly as was described. Clean, modern, fun, colorful, and yes, address many different demographics. I wanted the tile format because (1) healthcare's move toward cloud and mobile, (2) the ability to customize/re-arrange your screen (just like you can on a Windows desktop or on your phone) (3) it would still be relatively understandable if you spoke a different language or perhaps were not literate. I think a lot of times people build for themselves (20 y.o's building for other 20 y.o.'s) but it was important for me that we build for lots of different kinds of people and meet people where they are, and having worked in hospitals all over the city as well as in community health clinics, I felt that a New York portal should build for the diverse melting pot that is New York and make it as accesable and even fun to use as possible. 

Good point above. If you build it, will they come? I think that engagement has been an issue. First off you need infrastructure (Internet access, owning a computer or a smartphone, being near a local business center/computer lab/library, having Wifi etc). Second you need to know that this is out there, "free to use". Third, the experience of using the tool and liking it and above all gaining value from it has to be there. Traditionally, the design for these things have been like Excel spreadsheets or MS DOS circa 1990 so I'm hoping the re-design will help. It's hard to change people's behavior unless they are committed to changing, but I think that when people make that decision, it's important to have tools out there for them when that decision is made. Mana Health actually started out as a clinical decision support company and aspects of that may be integrated into the patient side. 

I think that healthcare people, digital health enthusiasts, techies, people who are curious, people who are caretakers will initially use the portal. (I really wanted a feature where you could have proxy access to your parents' or childrens' data in a color-coded form so one could be more organized and also not have to open another screen). I agree that I wish more states or locales would try and do what SHIN-NY is doing. We as individuals move around and are portable, it doesn't make sense that in the age of the Internet, that our data can't be portable and move around as well in an organized, one stop shopping, no need to click a billion drop-down lists kind of way. 
David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
8/28/2013 | 1:42:00 PM
re: Startup Will Build New York's Ambitious Patient Portal
Will this small company be responsible for keeping the data secure? Or is it just building the front end interface, with details like security handled by others?
User Rank: Apprentice
8/19/2013 | 11:01:43 PM
re: Startup Will Build New York's Ambitious Patient Portal
I hope more state wide HIE's take the lead from SHIN-NY and start offering their members more of these resources such as this patient portal being offered. By giving these sorts of incentives to members, they are building up the appeal of their memberships and hopefully can reach more practices. I also really like that the patient portal allows patients to access multiple provider portals from one location instead of having to use multiple locations.

Jay Simmons
Information Week Contributor
User Rank: Author
8/15/2013 | 7:52:54 PM
re: Startup Will Build New York's Ambitious Patient Portal
We can provide access, but it's still a challenge to get many patients to look at our data, or to take action based on what we learn. There's a presumption that information will make us healthier. But Modern Healthcare just wrote about a study that shows poor (even dire) lab results didn't spur older adults to change their behavior:

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