March 7, 2008 - The Louisville Health Information Exchange Inc. (LouHIE), a nonprofit community organization based in Louisville, KY., in association with the Noblis Center for Health Innovation, recently completed an eight-week e-health research initiative intended to assess the readiness of 1.2 million consumers, their healthcare providers and related health information product and services (HIPS) firms to support a community-wide health record banking system.
Conducted in August and September of 2007, the research identified several common themes pertaining to overall community interest in participating in a health record banking (HRB) service. These include the need for a trusted nonprofit community organization to establish the service, a trusted environment, as well as privacy and security.
The telephone based research showed 69 percent of consumers would value a health record bank type of service, provided their physicians supported it. Twenty-four percent said they would pay an average of $5 per month for an account. Adding value to the telephone-based results, the focus group research found that most consumers would like the choice to opt-in to the service and decide what information to view; understood the benefits of sharing clinical information; have a desire to make sharing easier; and a need to trust the service.
Described as a central repository, the health record banking service provides a private and secure location for each person to store their medical records from all sources via a deposit/withdrawal process. Upon enrollment into the system, individual consumers can deposit or withdraw medical records as well as control what data can be viewed by various clinical providers.
Use of the health record banking model is being encouraged by the Health Record Banking Alliance (HRBA). Each of the communities that adopt this approach will have a number of tools available to them that promote consumer choice, consent, and collaboration.