EvergreenHealth partners with Microsoft to provide PHI services

By Erin McCann
10:33 AM

Reliable and expedient access to personal health information (PHI) in the event of a serious injury or sudden illness is crucial to provide the best possible patient care. Officials at EvergreenHealth Medical Center announced Tuesday their partnership with Microsoft to provide patients with a free Web-based tool to store vital emergency health information in a secure and accessible central location. 

Kirkland, Wash.-based EvergreenHealth's comprehensive system of primary, urgent and emergency care will now make Microsoft's HealthVault personal health record available to more than 400,000 community residents. HealthVault is designed to organize, store and share a patient’s health information; it combines a personalized emergency health reference card with a code that allows loved ones and emergency medical providers to access a security-enhanced account with detailed health information.

[See also: Microsoft announces HealthVault Be Well Fund grant recipients.]

EvergreenHealth is encouraging patients to use the tool for the critical assistance it can provide in emergency situations when the information is needed immediately. PHI cards are relatively common within the healthcare industry, but HealthVault builds on this resource by allowing access to more in-depth records that are accessible from virtually any location, officials say.

"This tool is extremely useful," said Brad Younggren, MD, medical director of the EvergreenHealth Emergency Preparedness Program. "In addition to the wallet-sized card, a patient-driven electronic medical record can be accessed from anywhere around the world with Internet access."

EvergreenHealth's partnership with HealthVault is the first such one for Microsoft. "This partnership is particularly meaningful to us on the HealthVault team because many of us and our families receive care at EvergreenHealth," said Sean Nolan, distinguished engineer at Microsoft. "Using HealthVault to prepare a family for a medical emergency is easy and takes just a few minutes. We're proud to be working with innovative partners like EvergreenHealth that are always looking for new ways to improve the care they can offer the community."

[See also: Personal health records: The new wave.]

HealthVault account services include:

  • An emergency health profile containing information on medications, allergies, conditions and more
  • Wallet cards that offer important health information at a glance
  • Access codes for emergency medical technicians and trusted personal contacts
  • A security-enhanced account to store, organize and share your health information