Great & Powerful Oz Grants Kansas PHR Access

Posted on March 21, 2013 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

It is unlikely that author Frank L. Baum imagined citizens of the Emerald City would ask the Great & Powerful Oz for better healthcare. In reality, that is just what the state of Kansas – home to Dorothy, Toto, Auntie Em and fantasy-inspiring twisters – is offering its citizens in the form of a free personal health record.

The news is timely, only because I just saw the movie Oz the Great & Powerful, which portrays Oz as a con man who stumbles into greatness, and saves the people of Oz along the way. (Anyone know the ICD-10 code for injury due to hot air balloon crash? Leave it in the comments section below and I’ll have my daughter Dorothy sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow to you.)

While Kansas isn’t suffering from attacks of the Wicked Witch variety, it seems to be facing healthcare challenges similar to the rest of the country – a need to improve communication and quality, and a desire to increase patient engagement as part of Meaningful Use requirements.

According to a recent write up in The Wichita Eagle, the Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) may be “the first statewide exchange in the country to provide a personal health record portal for patients.” It plans to provide portal access this summer to patients at no charge, with full operation anticipated by next year. Provider access will be included in KHIN membership. KHIN selected PHR vendor NoMoreClipboard to supply the technology.

Details around set up and access have yet to be determined, according to the story. The bigger question, I think, is how are providers going to get their patients to fill in information on their own time, and on their own dime, so to speak. I’ve attempted to be proactive and fill out one for my daughter, and, I’m ashamed to admit, it was just too time consuming to keep up with. Perhaps making the PHR portal available to patients on mobile devices would up the data input rate. The NoMoreClipboard website does mention its PHR is available for mobile phones.

I’m thinking that patients would need some serious incentive to go to the trouble of all that data entry, which is perhaps where payers come in. I might be persuaded to keep up with my PHR is I received some sort of discount on healthcare services.

Perhaps the Great & Powerful Oz could grant the good patients of Kansas the ability to enter their own healthcare data in the blink of an eye, or, as they say in the Emerald City, at least no longer than it takes to follow the yellow brick road.