Microsoft, Kaiser Permanente launch pilot program for online health records


SAN FRANCISCO Microsoft and Kaiser Permanente are planning on launching a pilot program to exchange patients’ health information, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The information maintained in Kaiser’s personal health record system, called My Health Manager, will be securely transferred to Microsoft’s HealthVault, which is a Web-based service that allows patients to store and managed medical data from a variety of Web site and selectively share information.

Kaiser’s new program will initially be open to only the 156,000 employees of the company’s health-maintenance organization. Under the pilot program, employees who use Kaiser’s My Health Manager, will be able to securely transfer medical information such as prescriptions, allergies, immunization information and medical conditions from My Health Manager to Microsoft HealthVault accounts. Users can set up permissions that dictate what information is transferred from their online health record. Using HealthVault’s site, users can access their profile from any Internet-connected personal computer.

Both companies say the pilot program has a long-term goal to bring medical data online and give users the ability to take their data wherever they go and share it with other doctors or pharmacies. Typically, control over medical data stored in electronic medical records is in the hands of the health-care profession instead of the patient.

Anna-Lisa Silvestre, Kaiser’s vice president of online services, said the organization plans to run the first phase of the pilot program through the fall of this year, before expanding it to Kaiser’s patient population. Kaiser will be testing the service to make sure it meets security standards and seeing what value their employees gain from it.

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