My Digital Healthcare Record: Innovation, Challenge, and Patient Empowerment

My Digital Healthcare Record: Innovation, Challenge, and Patient Empowerment

Anita Medhekar (Central Queensland University, Australia) and Julie Nguyen (Central Queensland University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3274-4.ch008

Abstract

In the 21st century, the digital revolution is disrupting every sector of the economy. Australia has adopted the digital healthcare technological revolution such as My Health Record (MyHRC) to improve healthcare practice for clinicians/medical professionals and empower consumers to provide positive health management experience with a patient-centred approach to digital health revolution and digital literacy. My Health Record has its benefits, but it has been a challenge for the healthcare practitioners, hospital staff, as well as patients as consumers to accept, embrace, and uptake digital technologies and manage their healthcare records amidst concerns of slow adoption by the patient, data privacy, and implications of the secondary use of their personal data by non-government entities.
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Introduction

In the 21st century, developed countries, have adopted digital health technological revolution to improve healthcare practices for clinicians/medical professionals, and provide positive experience to the consumers and the community at large. It has been a challenge for the healthcare practitioners, hospital administrative staff as well as patients to accept, embrace and uptake digital technologies and manage their healthcare records amidst concerns of slow adoption by the patient/consumers because of personal data privacy and security issues (Walsh et al., 2018). The main aim of embracing digital or e-Health technologies in healthcare, is to transform and provide world class healthcare system and hospital facilities and empower the patients to participate online, access their health information, communicate and control their personal health records and choose the right healthcare provider and treatment to improve their health and well-being (Archer et al., 2011; Baldwin, Singh, Sittig & Giardina, 2017; Kim & Johnston, 2002; Queensland Health, 2017; Sittig, 2002; Wood et al., 2013).

Medical technological innovation includes a wide range of products and services to treat medical conditions and diseases, for example, innovative healthcare services, medical devices such as e-Health, digital health record tools, healthcare transportation, 3D printing of medical products, tele-medicine, information technology, tele-health, mobile health technologies, artificial intelligence, health informatics and ‘My Health Record’ [‘MyHRC’] (Guo, Chen & Mehta, 2017).

Digital revolution is disrupting every sector of the economy including healthcare in Australia. Digital revolution is driven by innovators of healthcare technologies, investors/entrepreneurs, medical professionals, healthcare providers and government policy makers to bring about a change in healthcare ecosystems. Any innovation, such as technological e-Health innovation needs to be diffused to be widely adopted and used effectively for its perceived advantage derived from its use and application (Lee, Hsieh & Hsu 2011; Roger, 2003).

Usually government policies and regulation drive or squash any type of innovation. It is essential that digital e-Health innovation is healthcare provider-friendly as well as patient-friendly (Hemsley, et al., 2016; Hemsley et al., 2017). A human and a patient-centred approach to digital health revolution, such as ‘‘MyHRC’’ will help to change the patient experience and empower them to embrace digital technologies and engage with digital technologies to access and manage their own health records with positive healthcare experience (Australian Government, 2016a & 2016b). Greenhalgh et al. (2010) describe it as a shift from ‘specialists-driven’ to ‘patient-driven’ self-managed care as we move from ‘information-age’ to’ industrial-age’, which empowers the patients/consumers.

There are many benefits of adopting e-health to the clinicians as well as to patients, who are empowered to engage with their ‘MyHRC’ to manage their health effectively. However, there are also many challenges in terms of English language literacy, internet literacy, health literacy, and key stakeholders’ such as government and healthcare providers responsibility in ensuring privacy and safety of patient’s data online (Russo, Sittig, Murphy & Singh, 2016; Sittig, Belmont & Singh, 2018; von Wagner, Steptoe, Wolf & Wardle, 2009). Literature review indicates publications on digital healthcare innovation, such as ‘MyHRC’ and mobile health adoption and patient empowerment is relatively an emerging new area of research.

Key Terms in this Chapter

My Health Record: ‘MyHRC’ is a password and user name protected online information about an individual’s health reports. These reports are managed by the patient, who provides permission to allow hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers to access these records.

Digital Health: Digital health also known as e-Health is a system where computer technologies and tele-medicine is used to connect, communicate and manage healthcare information, manage health risk, promote health and wellbeing by the providers/ clinicians and the people/patients. Use of information and communication technologies help to enhance efficient delivery of health information and communication between the physician and the patient and empowers the patient to manage their health and health records.

Health Literacy: Health literacy is the ability of the people to acquire, read and understand basic healthcare information such as prescription, x-ray and blood tests results, in order to make health related informed decisions for managing and improving one’s health and wellbeing.

Health Innovation: Disruptive technologies like the use of digital ‘MyHRC’, e-Health Record is a technological innovation in healthcare used by the healthcare providers, clinicians, nurses, administrators, insurance agencies and the patients. These healthcare innovations empower the people/patients to keep health records, manage and improve our health. For example, digital devices and technologies are used for keeping records of steps taken during the day, daily diet, medicine, sports, and overall wellbeing to improve overall health, wellbeing and knowledge.

E-Health Literacy: With the diffusions of internet technology, e-Health literacy means peoples knowledge and skills to use innovative internet and communication technologies and devices such as laptop, tablet, and mobile phone apps to search for health information which is appropriate for health decision making process and communicate effectively with the doctor.

Mobile Health: Mobile health devices is considered a subset of e-Health. It is the use of internet, tablets and mainly smart-phone devices and mobile phone Apps to adopt, access, communicate and share my health information and records between the patient and the medical doctor in real time to improve health outcomes.

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