Imagine How You Can Change the Future of Medicine!
Wouldn't it be great if you could look up your medical records as easily and securely as you would look up your checking account balance online? Wouldn't it be useful, for example, to be able to print your child's immunization records on demand, even if the information came from different providers or different facilities? Wouldn't it be incredible to receive real-time notifications when new test or lab results are posted to your medical record?
And wouldn't it be mind-blowing to be able to access every medical document, produced by every provider, at every medical facility you've ever visited and be able to retain control over that information forever?
This project is the culmination of years of effort in bringing together the right people, developing the technological infrastructure and strategic partnerships, as well as defining the medical and legal framework to make this happen.
It is our hope that you will see the importance of this project and the significance of the role you can play in transforming the medical landscape of tomorrow.
As you read and learn about the "My Medical Records" Project, you will learn about the various elements necessary to bring together your records in one place. You will also learn how a Health Security Number is a prerequisite to bringing these records together. Your contributions will go directly to funding an open-sourced software portal which we will build using the proprietary technology we've already developed. By implementing this software solution, we will open the door to a whole new way of looking at medical records.
The Reality of Patient-Centered Care
The biggest obstacle with healthcare record integration is the absence of a "Unique Patient Identifier" (also known as a UPI). Without it, it is almost impossible to bring all of our records together from different providers and different facilities. A Unique Patient Identifier can be a medical record number, for example. It identifies you to your health care provider. Part of the problem, is that everybody uses a different Unique Patient Identifier to identify you.
Privacy advocates balk at the idea of having the government or any single group maintain a database of Unique Patient Identifiers. Our approach is uniquely different. We use a method of producing UPIs which does not involve databases. Only you and your providers know your UPI. Also, the data stored under the UPI is protected, so even if your UPI is lost or stolen, your health records are still protected.
Introducing Your Health Security Number
Our portal will provide you with your Health Security Number is without relying on on serialized numbers (i.e., numbers in a sequence), randomized numbers (which cannot be reproduced if lost or stolen) or numbers stored in a centralized database. When your Health Security Number is produced, it will only be known to you and your providers who know you. Your Health Security Number will uniquely identify you to all of your providers including your doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other health care professionals.
Fig. 1. The anatomy of our Health Security Card.
Fig. 2. The front-side of our patient brochure.
Fig. 3. The back-side of our patient brochure.
A True Grass-Roots Movement
We have worked closely with regional, state and national leadership to develop a wide grass-roots effort to make patient-centered records a reality. Over the past decade, we've listened to patients, doctors, and hospitals about their needs and their desire for improved access to records. We've developed strategic partnerships with a number of companies and entrepreneurs. We've received a number of accolades and endorsements from politicians and decision-makers.
Fig. 4. Excerpt from a letter from Senator Mikulski supporting our efforts in medical record integration.
Fig. 5. Excerpt from a letter from Congressman Van Hollen endorsing Medical Informatics' efforts in creating cloud-based medical records.
But aren't all doctors going electronic anyway?
The short answer is "some are, and some are not." Despite attempts by lawmakers to promote wide adoption of electronic records, only some doctors and hospitals have already transitioned to electronic health records system, while others are in the process of transitioning, and some have vowed to fight such a transition.And just because a facility is electronic, it does not mean that you will have personal access to your records or access to records maintained at other sites.In a survey of 2,758 physicians published in the New England Journal of Medicine, only four percent of respondents had a robust, fully integrated electronic records system (NEJM: 359:50-60, July 2008). Today’s health care is being delivered by some providers who embrace branded electronic records that are poorly integrated as well as those who continue to resist the electronification of records altogether. It is the lack of coordination between these groups that remains one of the biggest barriers to unification of records.
Don't I have access to my records anyway?
Absolutely, yes. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guarantees patients access to their records. A number of obstacles remain, however. For example, providers often will charge "administrative fees" each and every time records are produced. The records are usually limited to one facility or provider, and not truly integrated. Furthermore, the data is seldom presented electronically, in a manner accessible by today's smartphones and tablets.
Our proposal goes well beyond simple access to records. It provides you with the following:
- Secure access to our open-sourced software portal (developed with your generous contribution) to generate your own unique personal Health Security Number;
- A physical card imprinted with your unique Health Security Number;
- Your secure cloud-space, reserved for your personal health records;
- Migration of all legacy records (paper & electronic) from any number of sources to your cloud-space;
- Access to our "fax-to-cloud" functionality and other bridging solutions to keep your records perpetually up-to-date;
- Access to software enabling private, secure access to your records using your Mac, PC, smartphone, or tablet, and;
- Electronic notification to you when someone views or changes anything in your cloud-space.
Why is this a "good" thing?
Our Health Security Number and approach to medical records is beneficial in so many ways. Let's discuss just few of them.
Reduction of Medical Errors
Having easier access to you own records gives you a better chance of catching medical errors in your chart. Although existing laws insure that patients have the right to ask for their records, very few patients actually exercise the right because of the paperwork and fees associated with a records release. Our vision, is that eventually you'll be able to see your provider, receive a text notification that your records have been updated, and be able to review the note for that encounter as soon as its generated. This unprecedented level of transparency will reduce errors associated with erroneous charting, by empowering patients through easier and seamless access to their own records.
Elimination of Redundant Testing
Patients are often time seen by providers at different sites for the same problem. Consider, for example, a patient who is seen in the ER for abdominal pain, and a day later, follows-up with her primary care provider. Coordination of care is made more difficult by the fact that the second provider doesn't have access to the lab information from the earlier visit. In order to minimize delays, providers will often repeat the testing. This is done because it is often a faster way of getting the information as compared to signing the release, faxing it over, and waiting for the reply. Duplicate testing is an incredible waste on health care resources. Our vision is for a future where an empowered patient can use their Health Security Number to access labs and tests from any site of service and share it with anybody they wish.
Current laws require providers to safeguard your health records, but how would you know if an unauthorized person was looking into your chart? With paper charts, you would never know. Patients must take it on faith that the many people with access to their record, often times including ancillary personnel such as janitors, cleaning staff, etc., will not abuse those rights. And if someone breaches that confidence, no one will know. The situation with electronic records is not much better. Although an audit trail is often created, patients are rarely notified of access to their records. We believe that we can build an infrastructure where patients using a Health Security Number can get notified when their cloud-based record is accessed and they can decide whether that access is appropriate or not.
In regards to data security, if a provider takes your office chart to the hospital, and it unknowingly falls out of his briefcase and onto the ground, your records become immediately accessible to the first person who picks it up.
On the other hand, if your Health Security Number falls out of your pocket and is picked up by the same stranger, he would find that your encrypted health records are protected by your login and password.
Bridging the Divide
The Health Security Number serves as a bridge to unify records between paper-based providers and providers using branded electronic records. One of the biggest barriers to adoption of more robust systems, is the cost incurred by the provider or facility. We are committed to showing providers how they can use our innovative platform to transition to a paper-free office at no cost to them. We need your voice and support to help get this word out.
What is the Purpose of Crowd-Funding?
The purpose of this crowd funding initiative is to raise sufficient funds to build an open-source software solution to operate a web portal for patient access.
Clients will ultimately be able to obtain their Health Security Number on demand using our proprietary technology, use the portal as a pathway to accessing records, and use our "fax-to-cloud" functionality to keep the information perpetually up-to-date.
We will create all of the software and bridging solutions necessary to accomplish these tasks.
This software authoring effort will require additional funding in excess of what is customary for normal software development and deployment. This is partly because of the safeguards and regulatory constraints governing the privacy of medical records. A significant amount of IT support will be necessary during the initial program launch, during the migration of legacy records, and during the continuous update process after records integration.
Who is Medical Informatics?
We are doctors, professors, and business leaders who have come together to forge a new paradigm in medical record-keeping. But more importantly, we are also patients and consumers of health care ourselves. We want better transparency and improved access to records, because we, too, are patients from time-to-time.
Our team brings a unique skill-set to the table including a deep understanding of the role of record integration in modern medicine, the technical capability to develop the technological components necessary for the project, and the business savvy to make the business plan succeed. These three ingredients are not enough to succeed, however. Your support is an essential element in this endeavor. With strong backing from the Indiegogo community, we can have a stronger voice in making positive changes in health care today.
What You Can Do...
This project can only succeed with your help. If you share our vision, you can help us succeed.
- If you can contribute, please do so. We have provided a number of different pledge amounts and we hope you find one that is suitable for you. One of the metrics of success of this project is the number of pledges that a new idea like this receives. Each pledge is an undeniable vote of confidence.
- Get the word out to the world. Share our information with your family and friends on Facebook and Twitter. Tell your doctor or provider about us (we'd be happy to talk to them, too, by the way!). Chances are that if you think that this is a "good idea," then others do as well. You can direct them to this link which will point them to this site.
- Join us! Become a part of our extended team. If you believe (like we do) that this is the next big thing in health care, then join us in this revolution! Your voice and your story can make all the difference in the world! Contact your local newspaper or media outlet and tell them about us. Discuss this topic with policy makers and your politicians. Keep the dialogue alive and you can help forever change the way medicine is practiced in this country.
A Note About the Perks...
We wish to thank the many people who have made it possible for us to before you today.
We are grateful to all of the wonderful entrepreneurs, business leaders, health care workers and those in the position of medical leadership who have assisted us and steered us in the right direction. We are grateful to our strategic corporate partners without whose hard work and effort, we would not be able to realize this dream.
We are also grateful to you, the Indiegogo community, for giving us this opportunity to showcase this project. Thank you for your support!