Brigham and Women's provides patients' bedside access to EHRs

Some inpatients at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital can now access their medical records right from their hospital beds, thanks to a new pilot program, according to an article in the Boston Business Journal.

The program, launched in July with the help of a $2 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, enables ICU and oncology patients and their medical proxies to access their EHRs via tablets next to their beds. In addition to viewing their status and medication lists, patients can communicate with clinicians. 

The tablets only provide access to the patients' records, and do not work outside of the hospital's IP address. The hospital has also taken steps, such as unique log-ins, to keep the information secure.

Patient advocacy groups helped design the platform.

"The care team owning the medical record--those days are over," Patricia Dykes, program director for the Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice and also program director for the Center for Nursing Excellence, told the Business Journal. "The patient knows it's their information, they want access, and we believe if patients have access in a way they understand, that they can partner with us for better outcomes."

Other hospitals have also taken a more patient-centric approach and provided patients with access to their EHRs, in large part because of the patient engagement requirements of Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. The trend, which is predicted to become the standard of care, has benefits, such as increasing patient involvement and reducing errors in the records that have been caught by patients. However, such access also has downsides, such as how to deal with patients who post their records on social media.

To learn more:
- read the article

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