I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”
Washington artist Regina Holliday paints murals on walls in the nation’s capital about the need for patient access to electronic health data. She understands the true definition of meaningful use of health information technology because she fought for access to her husband’s medical record, and when she finally received it, she used it to guide his care in the final days of his life.
Regina’s story speaks to the heart of the second and perhaps most critical component of meaningful use of health information technology: Engaging patients and families in their healthcare. Simply put, meaningful use means using technology to improve healthcare quality and patient safety. Health care is not just a one-way dialogue. It involves giving patients the tools they need to participate in their care.
At Texas Health, we are working hard to provide meaningful use. We have invested $200 million over the last five years in building the electronic health record, and 12 of our 13 nonprofit hospitals are fully operational on the EHR.
We currently have the capability to provide patients with a CD-ROM of their patient record upon request, and some members of Texas Health Physicians Group now offer MyCare, a secure website that allows patients to access their medical history, lab results, and request appointments or prescription refills online.
For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based family of hospitals, Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist, and Texas Health Arlington Memorial, I’m Doug Hawthorne.