This article originally appeared at https://www.thestreet.com/story/13481780/1/making-health-care-more-like-your-smartphone.html on March 5, 2016.
Patients will find it easier to access their medical test results and communicate with their doctors under a new agreement reached between health care companies and the Obama Administration. The agreement was reached with health technology companies that provide 90% of the electronic health records to U.S. hospitals and the biggest private health care systems.
One of those technology firms is Premier (PINC) , a health improvement company that seeks to improve efficiencies and lower costs at health care providers. "This starts to put data in standard places with a standard way of being able to access it," explained Susan DeVore, CEO of Premier. "Think about your iPhone. You can put any app you want on your iPhone. You can't do that in health care because it can't be connected to you in that way. And so that's what we're trying to fix."
DeVore also said securing the privacy of a patient's electronic medical records is a high priority. "But patients want their information to be connected. So you have to find a way for them to be able to access their data and connect it. And if we really want to cure illness, and we really want to take care of patients with chronic conditions more effectively, we've got to have data across providers," said DeVore, who also believes the data sharing will reduce health care costs. Premier is currently experiencing double-digit earnings and revenue growth.
In announcing the government's agreement this week, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell described it as "a major step forward in our efforts to support a health-care system that is better, smarter, and results in healthier people."