CareGroup Healthcare System recently launched PatientSite, a secure Web site that provides its patients with access to their medical records and to other personal and general medical information. CareGroup, Beth Israel Deaconess's parent organization, is one of the first health care organizations in this country to provide patients with direct, online access to their medical records.
PatientSite enables patients to view their medical records; chart and track personal health information such as weight, blood pressure and glucose levels; review insurance benefits; check on test results; request appointments; seek referrals; review and discuss bills; check drug-drug interactions; renew prescriptions; and send email to their providers. Patients also can modify their personal web pages to include a variety of general medical links, including a pharmacy locator.
"Patient empowerment is a significant trend in the United States, and the Web can help patients become more involved in their health care," says John Halamka, M.D., chief medical information officer at CareGroup.
PatientSite also offers several features that help physicians manage their workflow. It automatically notifies physicians about patients' laboratory and radiology results and about medical record updates from patients. Another feature enables physicians to email fact sheets to patients who request general medical information.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a major patient care, research and teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a founding member of CareGroup Healthcare System. BIDMC is the third largest recipient of National Institutes of Health research funding among independent U.S. teaching hospitals.
Note: Reporters who want to navigate a demonstration record on PatientSite should contact Bill Schaller.