From Canadian Healthcare Technology, May 2014
By Scott Herrmann, Director of Mobile Solutions
I generally don’t like to use sports analogies, but for the sake of this discussion, let’s use one.
Imagine the overall management of your own healthcare as if it was managing a professional sports team. Who would be your number one draft pick?
In this scenario you, the patient, are your own number one choice. You are the franchise player and the key driver for your own life. You are a driving force to a speedy recovery because when you have an ailment, the person that it affects the greatest is you. It is your body and you should have the strongest voice in the management of your own care.
This level of engagement in our own health care has really only become possible in our modern age. For example, the internet has become a powerful tool for healthcare independence. We have been liberated in our knowledge levels, armed with new and powerful research tools. We are now capable of asking more in-depth questions in relation to our healthcare; in fact today many healthcare professionals encourage it. By working closely with your healthcare team, you are working towards a similar goal, ensuring you are recovering and healing as quickly as possible.
Many care teams still believe that all the decisions in your care lay with the specialists. It is your right to have an impact on your care. Are you passively waiting for a team of specialists to make decisions on your health or are you actively taking a step forward and impacting change?
As an active member in your team of healthcare professionals, it is your right and responsibility to give an accurate account of your health history and conditions. By doing this you will establish a personal “bank” of healthcare data, which can be called upon in times of reference for various ailments. This all leads to having information if and when you need it. This is powerful for you as well as the greater good of the healthcare industry.
In regards to acute and post-acute care, many hospitals and medical clinics recognize the value of empowering the patient by involving them in their own care. By working closely with the patient to document healthcare history, medical professionals can establish an electronic health record (EHR), a complete medical record of information on the patient. Using the EHR, healthcare professionals have the ability to inform the patient from the initial discovery of a disease through the potential outcomes that may occur.
Therefore it is important, as an active participant in the management of your healthcare, to have access to your own personal EHR. You are able to see the contents of your complete medical record, and keep track of your records and treatments. As the patient, you can provide key data points about your health.
Managing your healthcare is not only important when you are under the weather, but it is also important in preventative, or pre-acute, care. Focusing on staying healthy means executing a plan, setting goals and working the strategies to maintain our health goals. Many of our peers are using their smartphones and corresponding apps to stay on track with health and wellness goals. For example, there are apps that can manage prescribed medications, help follow a healthy diet, and ultimately motivate to leading a healthier and more engaged lifestyle.
By being proactive in your own health and working closely with your healthcare team and living a healthy lifestyle, you will ensure that if an ailment arises, your healthcare team has a wealth of knowledge of your healthcare history which will aid in helping you to a quicker recovery. By combining the building of personal data and tracking the metrics, all through personal devices, we are able to improve our own lives both before and after you open hospital doors. All this information analyzed for entire regions and areas leads to healthier individuals and healthier communities, all determined through technology channels and controlled by ourselves, the patients and the clients.