The American Health Information Management Association has developed a patient portal toolkit for health information management professionals to provide guidance on the issues, latest regulatory requirements, opportunities and challenges of providing patient access to their health records through a patient portal.
The adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and an industry shift from a provider-centric to a patient-centric healthcare system have fueled a consumer engagement movement, and the expanded use of patient portals is a key driver of this movement.
“We’re witnessing a profound shift in the level of engagement patients have with their own healthcare,” Lynne Thomas Gordon, AHIMA CEO, said in a statement. “When patients have more access to their health information, they can make more informed decisions. Patient portals are a critical component in connecting patients with their health data. With this toolkit, AHIMA provides guidance for the healthcare community on how to provide access while ensuring the information is accurate, private and secure.”
The purpose of the toolkit is to provide guidance on the issues and challenges that should be considered when implementing a patient portal, such as the types of policies and procedures that will need to be put into place, workforce and consumer education and training, and the legal requirements and considerations that must be accounted for a successful portal implementation, according to AHIMA.
The toolkit highlights major technology trends for patient portal solutions such as the capability to use portals to provide remote healthcare services for non-acute care conditions and how to incorporate patient-generated data from mobile devices and wearables. The toolkit also addresses the issue of how to personalize the patient portal experience for increased patient engagement and patients’ ability to access their health information on mobile devices.
In addition, the toolkit offers recommended practices on selection and implementation of a patient portal, guidance on workforce and consumer education and training as well as a sample registration/enrollment form and a sample portal user agreement.