Medical Record Sharing Enhances Patient Care

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Horizon Health

Horizon Health teams up with other healthcare providers

To further coordinate patient care, Horizon Health is now able to electronically share patient medical records with healthcare providers who are part of a patient’s care team. This is especially beneficial to patients who receive their healthcare from multiple providers at various locations.

The electronic sharing of patient health information is possible through the Patient Record Sharing (PRS) feature in athenahealth, an electronic health record (EHR) system that Horizon Health utilizes at its hospital and clinics. The goal of PRS is to increase provider-to-provider communication, giving medical personnel a more comprehensive view of a patient’s healthcare.

For example, if a patient has a primary care physician and a specialist physician, both participating doctors can access key pieces of their patient’s health information. Each can review the type of diagnosis, treatments, and prescriptions their patient is receiving according to the record at the other’s facility.

“Patient Record Sharing is all about enhancing the patient’s continuity of care,” said Oliver Smith, Horizon Health president & CEO. “The ability for providers to share medical records further ensures that patients are receiving the best care. This is possible because providers have immediate access to additional information to make better decisions.”

For providers to share patient health information through PRS, they must first “opt-in” to the system, as Horizon Health has done. Once they do, PRS automatically searches an extensive network of hospitals and clinics and locates the patient’s medical records. Those records are put directly into Horizon Health’s electronic health record system called athenaNet, allowing participating providers to review and reconcile the patient’s most complete information.

“Electronic health records have attempted patient record sharing for years. But the ability to exchange information wasn’t always effective because of the various systems of record keeping that existed with different providers,” said Lacey Stults, BSN, RN, clinical informatics project manager.

Patients age 18 and older are automatically enrolled in Patient Record Sharing at Horizon Health. Note that since organizations must opt-in to participate in this service, not every hospital and clinic involved in a patient’s care may be included in the record sharing service.