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Members of CommonWell will enable patients to access health data

If you’re a patient of a hospital or physician that is using the technology of a CommonWell Health Alliance member—including Cerner Corp., athenahealth, Inc., and McKesson Corporation, to name a few—then you’ll be able to get your health data via the CommonWell network.

CommonWell is now allowing people to self-enroll in the interoperability organization and be able to view their health data on the network. MediPortal, a company that focuses on data exchange and patient engagement, and Integrated Data Services, Inc., a provider of technologies that allow patients to retrieve and control their medical data, both CommonWell members, say they will offer these new services through their patient portals by the end of the year.

Enabling patients to enroll and link their health records to the network means patients will be able to give their providers quick access to important health data and improve care coordination, according to the release.

“Far too often individuals and the people who care for them are stymied by the onerous task of accessing their health data,” Jitin Asnaani, executive director of CommonWell Health Alliance, said in the release. “By enabling these services, our CommonWell members will empower people to be more engaged in managing their health and the health of their loved ones.”

Although the importance of patient involvement in health data has been highlighted by the White House and the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, a survey  from HealthMine found that 53% of patients surveyed can’t access their health data online. Furthermore, 74% of healthcare consumers surveyed said that easy electronic access to health data would improve both their knowledge of their health and communication with their doctors.

Among the CommonWell members participating in the initiative are Aprima Medical Software, Inc., athenahealth, Cerner, Evident, Modernizing Medicine, Inc., and RelayHealth, a subsidiary of McKesson that McKesson is selling to health IT vendor Change Healthcare.