This issue brief from the Consumer Partnership for eHealth, a coalition of over 50 national consumer and patient organizations, describes how health information technology (HIT) can be a platform for advancing patient and family engagement in health care. The issue brief outlines the following principles for consumer engagement with HIT:
- Clinical information and information contributed by the individual is used to provide holistic care.
- Communication of information results in seamless attention to health needs, regardless of the individual’s physical location.
- The right information is provided to the right person at the right time to ensure safety and quality.
- Information is available and shared in real-time to improve accessibility, efficiency and affordability of care.
- Information is presented and used in ways that are meaningful to the individual.
- Information is shared privately and securely, without erecting unnecessary barriers to its use.
- Information is used to ensure that all people are treated fairly and equitably by our health care system.
The issue brief emphasizes the role of health care consumers and patients in working collaboratively with their health care providers to be agents of change, informed decision-makers, sources of verification and contextual information, and decision-makers about how best to integrate better health into the context of their lives.