The Health IT Policy Committee is seeking public comment on a proposed Stage 3 meaningful use recommendation to require providers to accept patient-generated health data.
According to the Policy Committee, one way health care providers could electronically accept such information would be to develop "semi-structured questions" and choose information "that is most relevant for their patients and/or related to high priority health conditions they elect to focus on." With regard to the proposed requirement, the committee is seeking answers to the following questions:
- What information would providers consider most valuable to receive electronically from patients?
- What information do patients think is most important to share electronically with providers?
- How can the meaningful use program support allowing doctors and patients to mutually agree on patient-generated data flows that meet their needs, and should the functionality to collect those data be part of EHR certification?
The Policy Committee also is seeking information about whether existing standards could incorporate medical device data from the home and how patient-reported data could be incorporated into clinical quality measures.
New digital health information management tools are enabling patients to become even more engaged. Patients now have access to personal health records, mobile applications, social networking sites and other interactive websites designed to help them meet their health and wellness goals. About 11% of all mobile phone users and 19% of smartphone users have at least one health app on their device, according to Pew Internet & American Life Project's Mobile Health 2012 survey.
Twenty-nine percent of survey respondents who reported a "significant change," such as gaining or losing a lot of weight, becoming pregnant or quitting smoking were health app adopters. Of the 254 health app users in the survey, use of fitness and wellness apps dominated. Thirty-eight percent used apps to track exercise, fitness or heart rate, 31% tracked diet or food and 12% tracked weight.
The Policy Committee's RFC is open for comment until January 14, 2013. Comments should be submitted electronically via www.regulations.gov.