Cincinnati Children's Offers Family's Secure Access to Medical Information from Anywhere in the Country
Monday, April 11, 2005
Patients and families at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center no longer have to wait for essential medical information from their health care providers. Now, they can log on from anywhere in the world and get it directly from the lab.
"My son, Kyle, had two liver transplants at Cincinnati Children's," said Janet Wimberg of Cincinnati, Ohio. "Before this new technology, I had to sit around the house waiting for a call from his nurse about lab results and we'd often play phone tag. Now, I'm able to log on to a secure web site anywhere and track all of his important medical information."
The Department of Information Services at Cincinnati Children's, with input from health-care providers and families, developed a web-based portal to allow both the family and the health-care providers to make medical decisions based on accurate, up-to-date data.
The portal is now being used by liver transplant, cystic fibrosis and diabetes patients, and will soon be used by patients with asthma, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, as well as kidney disease.
Based on the patient's condition, information found on the portal can include:
- Lab reports (reviewable in text and graph form)
- A complete list of allergies and medication
- An ongoing list of clinical concerns
- Hospital admissions
- Clinical visit data
- Access to current treatment protocols and immunizations
It also allows patients and families a way to ask non-urgent questions and receive a response online.
"The portal is not intended to replace the personal relationship patients have with their doctor," said Frederick Ryckman, MD, director of liver transplant at Cincinnati Children's. "It provides another safe outlet for families to be more actively involved in the care their family receives from anywhere in the country."
Information Services ensures all information in the portals is secure and follows the same privacy standards as the clinical electronic records. The patient or family member is given access to the web site with a password. Password rules are in place to ensure password confidentiality. Vulnerability assessments are completed nightly.
"Cincinnati Children's mission is to make medical information more transparent for families and their team of health-care providers," said James Anderson, president and CEO of Cincinnati Children's. "Making information more accessible and available with services like the portal, help to change outcomes for all our patients."
As a leader in health-care informatics, Cincinnati Children's became the first pediatric hospital in the nation to earn the prestigious Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) in 2003. HIMSS bestows the Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence each year for use of electronic health record (EHR) systems in health care organizations.