2 min read

A Patient’s Perspective on Patient Summary

To be completely transparent, I am NOT a model patient.

  1. I put off going to see my healthcare provider. First, I almost feel like I’m imposing if it’s not a life-threatening condition. Perhaps that’s part of the “Midwestern-nice” upbringing. Second, I honestly hate calling to make the appointment. The clinic doesn’t have the nifty online scheduling option yet. (On the plus side, when I do come in, my PA-C knows it’s for a good reason. Once I’m there, I don’t get the sense that I’m wasting her time.)

  2. I am unable to remember much about my visit, if I don’t write it down. And I don’t write it down. I become a sputtering idiot when I’m asked about anything that’s not readily available in my patient chart in the clinic’s medical records system. (Like many moms, I can provide loads more of details regarding my son and his healthcare than I can my own.)

Expectations Abound as a Patient…

I spent more than 10 years working at a market-leading EHR vendor. As a result, I fully appreciate all that is available within a patient. Working there was an eye-opener to me and generated my passion for patient-centric healthcare technology.

Working there also set high expectations for me as a patient. Even though I know it’s far from a given, I long for the day that absolutely any information related to my health is able to flow into one place. In spite of knowing better, I consistently anticipate that my primary caregiver will have a holistic view of the “patient me” available before I even walk into the clinic. But I know I expect too much:

  • I expect my clinic knows if I’ve at least fulfilled my latest prescription. (Now whether I’ve taken my Rx or not, I fully expect to convey to her.)
  • I expect results from an affiliated, or unaffiliated, lab will be available to her.
  • I expect she will be able to review what went down during an ER visit over the weekend.

Overall, I expect she will have a full summary of me as a patient. I expect that summary goes well beyond the information directly documented in the medical record system the clinic uses. However, that’s not the case.

…As Do Issues

Part of the issue, the system my primary healthcare clinic uses isn’t from one of the market-leading HIT vendors. It doesn’t come close to having the capabilities of the system developed by my former employer. Another part of the issue, is that the vendor of this system doesn’t appear to be pursuing opportunities for interoperability as zealously as others.

However, there is a much broader issue. There’s so much more information about me – outside of my clinic’s network – floating around. And a lot of that information sits in the hands of my health plan.

Any marrying together of my information among health systems and health plans is something that really hasn’t been happening, in an effective way. Health systems with access to health plan information tend to have to log into a different portal (for each health plan). Or they receive information in a variety of other formats, including sometimes still in the form of a fax – yikes! These approaches then put the onus on the healthcare provider – and that’s not right.

I look forward to the day my primary caregiver has all the meaningful information about me front and center in my patient record – before and during my appointment. And I’m sure she looks forward to the day that she can circumvent my occasional ambivalence toward my own care and no longer needs to rely on me and my deteriorating memory.

Learn how Moxe elevates the exchange clinical information sharing between health plans and health systems. With Convergence, data from multiple sources comes together directly within a patient’s chart, providing key information for optimizing patient care and improving processes for communicating information back to health plans.