Personal health information key to reducing care costs

By Diana Manos
09:18 AM

Emerging care and reimbursement models will only go so far in the effort to overhaul American healthcare. Personal health information will be the deciding factor, according to two industry experts.

“Providers and patients must continue to partner together to improve the health status and overall population health in the U.S. Health Information technologies are a tool to make that partnership a reality, and an empowered patient,” said Mary Griskewicz senior director of healthcare information systems at the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS).

According to a HIMSS resource on personal health information (PHI), every patient is unique, from both a personal risk perspective — whether that is a preventable disease progression or a critical care event. In addition, patients come from different socio-economic behavioral standpoints.

“Putting more of the “P” (“personal”), into personal health IT (PHIT) will require incorporating individuals’ preferences and values into the applications, including personal observations of daily living,” according to the resource, edited by Sarasohn-Kahn, health economist and advisor for THINK-Health, and author of the blog Healthpopuli

“Adoption of digital technologies has gone mainstream in the U.S., and self-service behaviors are coming to health care," Sarasohn-Kahn added. "The catalysts for change are activated, engaged consumers who are motivated to maintain a healthy state, manage chronic conditions or alter lifestyle choices upon a new diagnosis,” according to the paper. “Additional catalysts include patients’ increased financial burdens and demand for greater transparency on price and quality of health services.”

Patients’ and caregivers’ increased adoption of PHIT can help providers alleviate growing pressures on their practice economics and work-life balance, and PHIT can be a key linchpin for health providers migrating toward value-based care, the resource goes on to say.

At the upcoming Government Health IT Conference to be held June17-18 in Washington DC and sponsored by HIMSS, parent company of Government Health IT, Griskewicz will join Sarasohn-Kahn in leading a session on how to connect providers and patients via personal health IT to transform healthcare.

According to Griskewicz, the session’s objectives are to help attendees:

  • Understand and appreciate the value of patient engagement and activation;
  • Identify the key drivers of patients and consumers’ demand for personal health IT;
  • Recognize the key segments of personal HIT;
  • De-hype the “wearables” hype cycle; and
  • Scope out opportunities for consumer-facing personal health IT in connecting care with physicians and providers.

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