E-Health Records Option Extended To Families

Dossia, whose consortium members include Wal-Mart and Intel, is making it easier for employees' dependents to sign up for electronic health records.
"If it takes 12 clicks to get health data, it doesn't feel right" to users, said Evans. Dossia has been focusing on simplifying disclosures, for instance, so that enrolling and using its health records aren't as cumbersome, he said.

Also, the organization has been working to include applets that appeal to users who have different health needs, such as BMI calculators for individuals trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight.

"People don't wake up saying, 'gee I wish I [could] open a personal health record,' he said."They say, 'I wish I knew whether Granny is taking her medicine,'" or the kids' vaccinations are up to date," he said.

"We're spending a lot of time on user interfaces and applets," he said. "Diabetics, pregnant women, and patients with ALS [amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease] all have very different health needs," he said.

Of Dossia member companies, so far, Wal-Mart has achieved the largest rollout of the e-personal health records, said Evans. Other member companies, including AT&T, Cardinal Health, Vanguard Health and Pitney Bowes are in various stages of rolling out Dossa personal health records related to their open enrollment programs for 2010 benefits.

To date, Dossia personal health record users number "in the tens of thousands" and are predominantly Wal-Mart employees, he said.

For Further Reading:

Why Your Next IT Job Will Be In Healthcare

Top iPhone Apps For Health Pros, Patients

Top iPhone Healthcare Apps

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on e-health and the federal stimulus package. Download the report here (registration required).