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City employees in Billings, Montana are now able to access their personal health records online as part of pilot project stemming from the Office of the National Coordinator's Consumer Innovation Challenge.
The city’s roughly 1,500 employees and their families will be able to reach their health data using an online platform created by Cambridge, MA-based Dossia, an open-source personal health record service developed by a group of Fortune 500 employers, in partnership with the Billings-based Employee Benefit Management Service, Rocky Mountain Health Network and others, including HealthShare Montana, the state’s health information exchange.
The program will also combine health data with insurance and eventually pharmacy data, Brad Putnam, HealthShare Montana executive director, said. The online platform “was built with social networking in mind, bi-directional communications capability, available proxy access and access to a tremendous amount of knowledge around helping patients understand their health records,” Putnam said.
The pilot will let the Billings city government incentivize healthy behaviors with employees using interactive social challenges, Putnam said. And employees will be able to communicate directly with the providers, share their records with physicians and family, and the Employee Benefit Management Service will be able to reach out to patients who may have gaps in their care or need help managing a chronic condition. And HealthShare Montana, as the HIE, is the “hub of it all,” Putnam said.
PHRs are also gaining purchase in the Sunshine State. Florida Medicaid recipients can now access their records online using the “My Florida Health eBook.” The Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration contracted with Jacksonville, FL-based Availity, a health information network, to provide the platform for physicians and Denver-based HealthTrio for the personal health records.
Florida Medicaid recipients can use the eBook to track information about doctors visits, procedures, medications and immunizations, and can also add other information about their health, such as allergy lists. The platform lets them track blood sugar levels, blood pressure and other measurements, lets them enter an emergency contact and comes with the Healthwise Knowledgebase, a consumer-friendly health library from health education nonprofit Healthwise.