Kaiser PHR sees 4 million sign on, most active portal to date

By Erin McCann
02:57 PM
Share

Four million members are now engaging in their health through Kaiser Permanente's My Health Manager, the organization’s Web-based personal health record, Kaiser officials announced Monday.

Officials say the burgeoning number of active users -- approximately 63 percent of Kaiser’s eligible members -- demonstrates that consumers find the organization's personal health record (PHR) to be an effective and convenient way to manage their health.

"My Health Manager empowers members to take charge of their health, and our data show that they are doing just that," said George Halvorson, chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente. "In the last six months, 67 percent of registered members signed on to My Health Manager two or more times. By revisiting the website, our members are getting a complete picture of their health past, so they can make the best health choices in the future."

[See also: Kaiser, SSA partner on HIE to speed claims.]

My Health Manager allows members to access medical records, email their providers, view lab test results, order prescription refills, and manage appointments from their computers or mobile devices. 

In 2011 members signed on to My Health Manager more than 74 million times and utilized website features in record numbers, officials say:

  • 29.7 million lab results viewed online
  • 12.2 million emails sent to providers
  • 10 million prescriptions refilled
  • 2.7 million appointments scheduled

The Web-based PHR also connects consumers to valuable health information on kp.org, officials say, including physician-approved information about lab tests, drugs and health conditions. In 2011 kp.org won an eHealthcare Leadership Gold Award for Best Health Content.

"With the help of consumer and physician feedback, My Health Manager has evolved to become one of the largest and most useful personal health records in the world," said Christine Paige, senior vice president for marketing and Internet services. "By combining vital personal health information with a great user experience, we're giving members what they need to take positive health action."

Most recently, Kaiser Permanente made the PHR securely available on mobile devices with a mobile-optimized website and iPhone and Android apps. Kaiser officials say that since its launch in late January, the mobile-optimized kp.org website has received more than 9.7 million visit sessions, accounting for 16 percent of total traffic to kp.org in the month of July. The organization's Android app has also experienced notable success, reaching 126,000 downloads since Jan. 24, with its iPhone app garnering 109,000 downloads since May 8.

[See also: Kaiser goes mobile with 9 million strong.]

For patients like Cecilia Castillo, 29, of Canton, Ga., Kaiser Permanente's mobile tools make life easier and considerably less stressful. A mother of three small boys, Castillo has a history of gestational diabetes. During her most recent pregnancy, she was able to check her test results from her iPhone regardless of her location during the day.

"It brought me peace of mind," she said. "I've had doctors before where I've had to wait for results for a long time. You sit there worrying and you get stressed out, and that just adds to everything else that you're worried and stressed out about. It really put my mind at ease to have easy and quick access to my lab results."

According to a 2011 Kaiser Permanente study, nine out of 10 patients with chronic conditions agreed the website enables them to more effectively manage their conditions. Patients also reported that the website helps them make informed decisions about their health and makes it more convenient for them to interact with their care teams.

"We know that connecting patients to their doctors and health information and tools improves quality outcomes, patient satisfaction and patient empowerment," said Halvorson. "We will continue to support our members with innovative connectivity solutions."

[See also: Kaiser IT initiatives ready for pilots, rollout.]

A key-differentiating feature of My Health Manager is its direct connection to Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect, a robust and sophisticated electronic health record, according the organization officials. 

By providing consumers with access to the same clinical information their doctors see, and with unique tools to interact with their providers and health plan, officials say My Health Manager allows patients to become more engaged in their own health care which will ultimately lead an improved care experience.   

My Health Manager is a free service available to all Kaiser Permanente members. Members can visit here to sign up to activate and access their personal health records.