The HealthCard and Communities: The Need Is Enormous

The phrase, “Medication reconciliation across the continuum of care,” basically means keeping track of the medications a patient is taking.  Until recently, this fundamental concept was largely overlooked by health care providers as unnecessary.  Acting on a number of studies that underscored the costs and dangers associated with adverse drug events and interactions, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of  Healthcare Organizations (Joint Commission) began requiring health care organizations to accept responsibility for helping their patients convey their medication list from one doctor to the next in 2006.  Nearly identical requirements from the American Osteopathic Society become effective June 1, 2007.

The new prominence of this issue has revealed the significance of the problem of fragmented health care and fragmented health care information technology systems.  Across the health care community, medication reconciliation is associated with expensive errors, expensive inefficiency, or both.  It is clear that a community-wide solution that is more robust than the pieces of paper currently in use is necessary.

Significant research has quantified the costs associated with lack of medication reconciliation.  The white paper includes journal article summaries, shown as references.  These costs can be divided into excess expenses attributable to the problem, and excess expenses associated with inefficiencies associated with the problem.

The HealthCard™ and The HealthCard Network are a network of patients and providers who are moving toward safest healthcare together, solving this fundamental problem as the starting point in an incremental approach to creating comprehensive personal health records. Central to our philosophy:

A Personal Health Record is a great idea.

Requiring the patient to enter the information is not.

The benefits of this system include:

  • Universal Access – users can scan the card with a PC reader or simply type in the account number and PIN at the log in page from any computer with an internet connection.
  • Built-in Safety Feature – In the event of an emergency, health care providers can access critical care information. The type and amount of information that is displayed by the system is controlled by the patient.
  • Reduced Paperwork and Forms – Health care providers can customize their patient registration forms so they are pre-loaded with your informationfrom the system. This can save time and avoids errors by reducing the number of times the patient is required to remember and write down the same information.

Next steps: