Niagara Gazette

April 27, 2013

Residents can pick their favorite 'Patient Portal' for medical records

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — New York state residents are invited to help pick a portal for their electronic medical records management.

The New York eHealth Collaborative, in partnership with the state health department, is running a challenge in which Web designers and developers are invited to submit portal prototypes. The role for residents in the challenge is to look over the entries and pick the ones they like best, based on user friendliness, format and design. Voting is ongoing through April 23.

Beginning in 2014, the Patient Portal for New Yorkers, a secure web site, will let residents access their own health records online. Once logged in, people will be able to see a list of people who have viewed their medical records and grant access to select health care providers to view their records.

The collaborative suggests various scenarios in which the Patient Portal would be helpful to people: Someone steps on a rusty nail, goes for treatment and can’t recall know the date of their last tetanus shot. A person who wants a second opinion on a diagnosis can show the second consultant the results of existing lab work and X-rays, instead of having to go through those tests again. Multiple specialists all seeing the same cancer patient can read each other’s treatment plans, with the patient’s permission. An adult serving as their parent’s health care proxy can keep tabs on the parent’s care without having to be present for every doctor’s visit.

To view and vote on Patient Portal prototypes, go to www.patientportalfornewyorkers.org.

Prototypes with the strongest responses will be demonstrated at public forums in New York City on April 30 and May 8, and in Buffalo on May 2.

The Patient Portal will be part of the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY), an existing secure network for healthcare providers to share patient data across the state. For example, physicians and laboratories use the network to transmit information such as the results of a patient’s latest blood tests.