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Labs Must Protect Newly Portable Patient Data
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Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
2/13/2014 | 4:01:54 AM
A patient's right
Alison, 

Patients should always be entitled to access their lab results and any other of their medical data. 

"You can then envision incorporating the raw results into something that shows you what they mean; what you have to do (if anything) to improve the results"

If healthcare IT would really want to do something neat they should have information on what the patient can do to improve the results, and what they mean. They could add all the normal values to guide the patient who is interested in learning more about his own health --some of them are there, though--. 

They should make the information available through links that could go together with the patient's lab results. This could save them plenty of time. 

-Susan
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
2/12/2014 | 2:27:19 PM
Re: Tricky
You can then envision incorporating the raw results into something that shows you what they mean; what you have to do (if anything) to improve the results, and whether you need to see a doctor or specialist next. In other words, further enhancing patient health and speeding up his/her access to the right provider, which should cut costs. It all sounds good. And labs will protect data. IT will get it done. They usually do.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
2/12/2014 | 12:34:37 PM
Re: Tricky
It's notable how far this discussion has come fairly quickly. The debate is about how to secure this data; not that long ago, it would've been about whether patients should have this information at all, and whether they can handle getting such data without a doctor present. The next step should be usability, the kind of changes Rob describes -- how to get this data in a way that's most valuable to patients and providers.  
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
2/12/2014 | 10:09:36 AM
Re: Tricky
The more basic stuff that I, as a patient, can do myself, the better. Yes, security/access controls will be critical. But like the airline industry, which lets me check in at a kiosk rather than force me to wait in line, the healthcare industry needs to get better at allowing user-friendly self-service in cases where a doctor or nurse doesn't need to be involved. They'll cut their costs; I'll become a more engaged patient.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
2/12/2014 | 10:04:33 AM
Re: Tricky
As a patient (ironically, I had to get bloodwork done this morning), it is terrific that you no longer have to rely exclusively on your doctor. Thinking back to this morning's experience, though, the lab I went to is part of a big chain. However, there was one receptionist/admissions person who did everything from welcoming patients to entering in their data on the computer and answering phones (she was very pleasant, btw). She, I'm guessing, will be the one to also hand over patient's paperwork or email it to them if they request it. Already overworked, I'd imagine it would be relatively easy to find a gap in her defenses, especially if a social engineer waited (as they would) for a time when she was most vulnerable, based on her workload.

While i was checking in someone called and asked for their results and she referred them to their doctor. That, of course, will change in a few months. Interesting to see what will happen then. 
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
2/12/2014 | 9:38:18 AM
Tricky
I think it's great that patients can get access to their own lab results, but the authentication and access control is going to be a bear to get right.


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