Mayo Joins Growing Online PHR Movement
The Mayo Clinic recently joined the growing number of providers, facilities, payers, and internet providers keeping and managing personal medical records on the internet. Advocates for Web-based personal health records (PHR) say the technology is more cost-effective and reduces medical errors.
The Rochester, Minn. based health care and research system unveiled its Mayo Clinic Health Manager, which uses Microsoft’s HealthVault system to store medical histories, test results, immunization files, and other records from provider and facility visits and prompts regular screenings and exams based on the users’ submitted information. It also reminds users of appointments and interfaces with pharmacies. Mayo plans to eventually link it with hospital and pharmacy records and activities.
Dr. Sidna Tulledge-Scheitel, an internist and medical director of global products and services at the Mayo Clinic, hopes the PHR site will help people better manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure at home. Tulledge-Scheitel said that without a system like Health Manager, she has to hope a refrigerator magnet suffices to remind asthma patients to regularly perform some self-diagnostic exams. The site would remind them to do it monthly. (The system doesn’t send e-mail reminders for privacy reasons, so the patient would need to habitually log on to the site.)
Like other Web-based medical record systems, the service is free and opens by requesting personal health information. Based on the information, the site may give the user “tasks,” such as getting a colonoscopy or mammogram, for instance. Users can add contact details for doctors, pharmacies, and insurance companies and set reminders for upcoming appointments.