Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is expanding options for users of its secure PatientSite portal by joining forces with Google to offer a new way to safely exchange medical records and other health data through Google Health, which launched to the public today at a media event at Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA.
“We believe that patients should be the stewards of their own data,” says John Halamka, MD, BIDMC’s chief information officer. “BIDMC’s PatientSite is wonderful if all care is delivered at BIDMC. However, many patients have primary care doctors, specialists, labs, pharmacies, and non-traditional providers at multiple institutions.
“Our vision is that BIDMC patients will be able to electronically upload their diagnosis lists, medication lists and allergy lists into a Google Health account and share that information with health care providers who currently don’t have access to PatientSite.”
PatientSite, which currently has more than 40,000 patient users and 1,000 clinicians, enables patients to access their medical records online, securely email their doctors, make appointments, renew medications and request referrals.
Google Health will enable BIDMC to extend its support for personal health records. PatientSite users will be able to access, store and share health information with designated family members and health providers. They will also gain access to other Google features such as drug-to-drug interaction checking and other safety and medical references.
“The end result will be when patients leave the BIDMC area or see a provider outside the area they can have all their medical data located in one safe place,” adds Halamka.
Halamka is also a member of the Google Health Advisory Council, a group of 23 experts who have been advising Google for the past year. Halamka specifically advised the Google Health team on standards for healthcare information exchange and has given feedback on the privacy and security of patient records to ensure they are protected.