A new project, conceived of by Google and the Cleveland Clinic, will try to give patients the ability to access and control their health information.
This project would hopefully enable patients to give their information quickly and easily to multiple physicians and pharmacies. Such a thing would be beneficial because, as we have discussed often on this blog, lack of communication between physicians is a frequent cause of medical error. Patients might assume that doctors would automatically share relevant facts with each other in their medical histories, and this is indeed what is supposed to happen, but too often it does not. This new project would give the patient some control over making sure that doctors know important details.
The New York Times also has some comments on this, quoting Dr. John Halamka on the importance of “consumer-oriented health care.”