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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology

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How Can Patients Make Use of Health IT?

A number of technologies directed towards patients can help to improve care for people living with HIV/AIDS.  One such technology is a Personal Health Record (PHR) that your patients can use to collect, track and share past and current information about their health, medications, and personal health measures.  Some PHR systems also offer additional functions, such as allowing your patients to schedule appointments over the Internet, receive lab results on their computer, and communicate directly with you or your office to the extent that you determine is most appropriate.  PHR systems can also allow patients to link to or download health information resources that support patient health literacy, education, decision support, and self-care.  They may link patients to social networking sites for people with HIV/AIDS, serving as a communication vehicle for the sharing of medical information and for social support.   

In addition to PHRs, some EHR systems let patients view part or all of their electronic medical records from a patient portal that is linked to the patient’s electronic medical record.  The Meaningful Use program requires that all certified EHR systems offer the technical capability of giving your patients an electronic copy of their health information and providing them a clinical summary after each office visit.  These copies may be a print-out of the information, or on a USB flash drive or CD.  

Related Resources:

MyHERO go to exit disclaimer– This website provides Information on MyHERO, a personal health record (PHR) designed specifically for use by people living with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco.
Shared Care Plan go to exit disclaimer– This website offers Information on Shared Care Plan, a personal health record (PHR) that has been used to manage diabetes and other chronic conditions. This PHR is geared to improving communication for long-term chronic care patients, including people living with HIV/AIDS and their care teams.  
Participatory Health: Online and Mobile Tools Help Chronically Ill Manage Their Care go to exit disclaimer– This report describes strategies for patient self-management using new technology tools to help patients manage their care outside of the medical office.
POZ Magazine Community go to exit disclaimer– This community website provides resources for people living with HIV/AIDS. One notable resource, My Cool Tools, offers interactive programs that may be of particular interest to people living with HIV/AIDS.  It includes a program that graphs lab results and one that tracks medication interactions.

Developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration as a resource for health centers and other safety net and ambulatory care providers who are seeking to implement health IT.
Health Information Technology Toolboxes help health centers, safety net providers, and ambulatory care providers with electronic and online resources and technical assistance to improve patient care.  More>
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