In the United States, along with numerous other nations, clinicians and patients today increasingly rely on Health Information Technology (Health IT). Clinicians use some form of Health IT (especially e-health records) to document care and communicate with one another. Patients may also use Health IT to access some of their own medical information.
It’s timely to learn more about the intersection of Health IT and health literacy. Does this technology improve health communication? Or does it make communication more difficult? Most importantly, how can we use Health IT to achieve greater health understanding?
To help answer these questions, in a series of Health Literacy Out Loud (HLOL) podcasts I interviewed four Health IT experts who bring a range of experiences and perspectives. Here is more to know:
- In 2011, electronic medical records were fairly new. I interviewed Dr. David Blumenthal who then was the National Coordinator for Health IT under President Obama. He highlights both benefits and concerns of using Health IT and shares his vision for an ideal Health IT world. Listen to our conversation and learn more at Dr. David Blumenthal Talks About Health Information Technology (HLOL #54).
- In 2016, Health IT is in wide use. The computer is as prominent today in medical exams as clinicians and patients. And it doesn’t stop there. After the visit, patients may also get a printed After Visit Summary (AVS). Dr. Alex Federman is researching how AVS help understanding and how they can be improved. Learn more about his findings in our podcast conversation, After Visit Summaries (HLOL #152).
- Now that Health IT is a key way for clinicians to communicate with patients, it’s essential that this information be accessible to all–including those with disabilities. That’s where Madeline Rothberg and others are focusing their efforts. To hear our interview, read a transcript, and find links to learn more go to Making Personal Health Records Accessible to All (HLOL #153).
- Is it helpful for patients to read their own medical records? Dr. Susan Woods, a physician at the Veteran’s Health Administration, was a skeptic at first. After researching that question, she now is a champion of Open Notes that allows patients to access much of their own medical information. We discuss all this and more in, Open Notes: Building Transparency, Trust, and Better Health Outcomes (HLOL #154).