Metropolitan Health (MH) is one of the country’s leaders in healthcare insurance and innovation. Having recently launched their new electronic health record (EHR), Executive Manager of HIV: Metropolitan Health Risk Management, Siraaj Adams, talks about the eHealth strides they’re taking to promote patient-centric care.

Reducing wastage, enhancing the physician-patient interaction and ultimately, enabling continuity of care were the primary objectives when MH launched their EHR to clients in August 2014.

Described as a “patient driven health record,” the EHR was designed around a typical patient journey characterised by moving between various healthcare providers that don’t always have access to the patient’s medical history or their latest test results. The outcome usually entails ordering duplicate tests and delays in decision making and diagnoses. By giving the patient control of who accesses their medical information, their EHR becomes portable and reduces the problems associated with the provider owning and managing the record.

Once the patient has registered a unique username and password with MH’s EHR portal, the EHR is viewable via either a desktop or mobile device. Physicians sign into the MH provider portal to request access to the patient’s EHR. This request will generate an SMS or email to the patient which will contain a One-Time-Pin (OTP) that opens the record. This can be done prior or during the consultation. Alternatively, the patient can also access his or her EHR via their mobile device during the consultation and share the EHR view with the doctor.

As a thirds means of sharing, the patient can print the EHR and share a hard copy of the EHR with the doctor.

The patient can share the record with any provider, including pharmacists. This means that even though it may be the first time a doctor is seeing a patient, there will be an up-to-date medical record detailing the patient’s current state of health that will provide a basis to continue care. Currently, the EHR stores data about member conditions, allergies, acute and chronic medication; pathology claims and results; hospitalisations; consultations with either GPs or specialists; as well as any other acute claims for Allied healthcare providers, such as physiotherapy etc. with a view to include radiology images at a later stage.

We believe patient empowerment is a critical component of healthcare, and while the provider is essential to managing a patient’s health, there is a need for the patient to take responsibility and be aware of their own health and wellbeing as opposed to relying on a third party to alert them to a problem. Using MH’s EHR, the patient is regularly updated on their health status because the record is constantly being fed with the latest data. The provider is a powerful motivator but the intrinsic enabler to encourage and improve healthy behaviour is patient orientated.

It’s important to provide relevant information as opposed to advocating broad health advice. With supporting evidence directly sourced from the EHR it is possible for providers to practice more direct and specific care. Since the launch of the EHR in August, MH has reported high acceptance from patients and are now focused on coaching providers on how they can utilise the information to best serve the patient.

MH has not incentivised adoption of the EHR for patients or providers and don’t believe it is necessary.

We believe there is a behavioural change towards sharing more information for better outcomes. We support that philosophy at MH and encourage our clients to engage in their health and share their information with the right provider at the right time.

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