Patients at Cleveland Clinic now have a new way to access their personal health data, using the Apple Health Records on iPhone feature, the healthcare organization recently announced.
Cleveland Clinic patients can also access their health data through the MyChart patient portal—by visiting MyChart via a computer or by downloading the MyChart app. As such, there are now multiple pathways for Clinic patients to get their health data digitally. “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,” said Peter Rasmussen, M.D. a neurosurgeon and Medical Director of Digital Health at Cleveland Clinic. “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.”
Both MyChart and Health Records on iPhone allow patients to view their personal health information, including allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals, while also helping them organize medical information from various institutions into one view. Patients receive notifications when their data is updated, according to Cleveland Clinic officials.
What’s more, MyChart allows Cleveland Clinic patients to: view upcoming and past appointments, physician notes, and details about hospital admissions; schedule appointments; request medication renewals and preventive care procedures; and message their providers.
In January, Apple announced that it would be testing the Health Records feature out with 12 hospitals, inclusive of some of the most prominent healthcare institutions in the U.S. Then in March, Apple tripled the number of health systems participating, from 12 to 39, and announced that the new capability was available to all iPhone users with the latest iOS 11.3 update. Cleveland Clinic was not among those original participating health systems, but is now on board with the Apple feature.
“When patients have direct access to their personal health information, they have the opportunity to live healthier lives,” noted Amy Merlino, M.D., a maternal-fetal medicine specialist and Cleveland Clinic’s CMIO. “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.”