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Cleveland Clinic patients with iPhones now can access their personal electronic health record (EHR) data through the Apple Heath Records app.
The academic medical center joins more than three dozen other health systems (including Penn Medicine, Johns Hopkins, Geisinger Health System, and Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles) – in adopting the new feature, which allows patients to view EHR information along with patient-generated data.
“Access to one’s own medical records is a crucial part of the digital transformation taking place in healthcare today, and enhances our relationship with our patients,” Peter Rasmussen, M.D. a neurosurgeon and medical director of digital health at Cleveland Clinic, said in a statement. “Our goal is to make that access as easy, convenient and useful as possible, placing patients firmly in the center of their own health data.”
Cleveland Clinic patients also can access their health data through MyChart, the facility’s online health management tool, using either a computer or via mobile apps that can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.
Health Records on iPhone and MyChart each allow patients to view their health information, including allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals. These tools enable patients to organize medical information from various institutions into a unified view, and also will send notifications to patients when there are changes to their data.
“When patients have direct access to their personal health information, they have the opportunity to live healthier lives,” said Amy Merlino, M.D., a maternal-fetal medicine specialist and Cleveland Clinic’s chief medical information officer. “They are able to track important health factors, such as weight or cholesterol or blood sugar, to determine their own personal trends over time. They are able to easily see a combined view of their information from multiple health systems, as well as have the ability to share their healthcare history with other providers.”
Apple Health Records uses HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) specification. Cleveland Clinic is using application programming interfaces (APIs) to build FHIR-based apps to extend the capabilities of its EHR system.
While Cleveland Clinic wasn’t one of the initial health systems to embrace Apple Health Records, the medical center long has been an early adopter of cutting-edge technology. In his first State of the Clinic address earlier this year, new CEO Tom Mihaljevic told employees that “we have to go for even more transformational technologic adoption.”