How Clinicians Can Use Patient-Generated Health Data to Improve Care

How Clinicians Can Use Patient-Generated Health Data to Improve Care

The healthcare sector is constantly searching for new methods to improve patient care. In the last decade, it has brought us various integrated modern technology and advanced modes of treatment for diverse patient conditions. One such significant advancement is Patient-Generated Health Data (PGHD). From developing mobile applications to manufacturing intelligent wearable devices, consumer health technologies have advanced significantly, allowing patients the freedom to collect health-related data outside the clinical setting.

What is Patient-Generated Health Data (PGHD)?

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) defines PGHD as, “health-related data created, recorded, or gathered by or from patients (or family members or other caregivers) to help address a health concern.” PGHD includes patient-reported information collected through surveys and data produced by remote monitoring devices, mobile health applications, and wearable devices. PGHD can consist of, but is not limited to:

  • Health history
  • Treatment history
  • Biometric data
  • Symptoms
  • Lifestyle choices

Integrating PGHD into an EHR

When PGHD is integrated into an Electronic Health Record (EHR) software, clinicians can use it to make more informed clinical decisions regarding patient care. Clinicians can integrate PGHD manually by entering it into their EHR when they see patients. Patients can directly upload PGHD data using patient portals either manually or via interoperability between devices and EHRs or portals.

The Benefits of Using PGHD

  • Increase Patient Engagement and Satisfaction: Using PGHD to inform medical care decisions allows patients to take a more active role in their health. This increased level of engagement and empowerment can contribute to better health outcomes and increased patient satisfaction.
  • Improved and Quicker Decision-making: Clinicians can use PGHD to make more informed and quicker decisions, visualizing trends, and spotting irregularities earlier.
  • Reduce Costs: PGHD has the potential to avoid unnecessary routine tests and office visits. It also helps the patient understand their health conditions better and helps them avoid unnecessary suggested treatments, ultimately reducing the cost of care.
  • Improved Outcomes: Data generated by a patient from their previous medical cases and treatments can assist clinicians in making a more informed health plan that could save the patient from future threats and sudden criticalities.
  • Improve Population Health Management: When collected and analyzed correctly, PGDM can provide insights into population health trends. The gained information can be used to develop interventions and programs to improve the health of a population.
  • Drive Research: By collecting data from large numbers of patients, researchers can identify patterns and trends that would not be apparent from smaller studies. This information can be used to develop new treatments and therapies.

The Challenges of Using PGHD

Lack of interoperability and data standards can make it difficult to collect data into one EHR platform. Some devices and platforms may not be compatible with each other yet, making the collection of PGHD a more manual process. Privacy and security are another concern of patients. When patients share their health information with clinicians, they expect their data to be safeguarded from unauthorized access. However, due to the lack of interoperability and standards, it might be challenging to ensure the security of PGHD.

Despite these challenges, PGHD has the potential to transform healthcare by making it more patient-centered and data-driven. When used correctly, PGHD can improve the standards of patient care delivery.

Where Do We Go From Here?

With improved communication, more complete data, earlier intervention, improved self-management, and increased patient engagement, the use of PGHD in outpatient clinics may have the potential to enhance care for those who are disproportionately impacted by chronic illness and for those with higher social risk factors such as low income, food insecurity, and housing instability.

iPatientCare offers a robust Electronic Health Record and is committed to providing patients with the best possible care. Our EHR software helps clinicians collect, store, manage and share patient data more efficiently and securely. It also allows patients to upload their PGHD health data, which their clinicians can access. Contact us today to learn more about our EHR software and how it can benefit your healthcare organization.

Are there other potential benefits or challenges of using PGHD that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below.

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