Idea submitted by: Elizabeth Berka
Offer incentives for patients consenting to Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs). This may involve a point system in which patients earn points every time they view their electronic health record (EHR) and/or comment after receiving medical care. Every patient would have a unique username/password for viewing their EHR via a personal or public computer in a health care facility. If telehealth visits are offered, patients could also receive points for these visits.
Once patients reach a specified number of points they would be entered into a drawing making them eligible to win an annual gym membership, gift card to a specialty vitamin store, grocery store, or other reward to improve their health. The rewards would be paid for via health insurance companies, vendor donations, and cost savings from paper medical records.
In order to improve patient engagement it is vital to provide necessary accommodations for patients with disabilities. For example, offer the option of large print EHR or head phones for those with visual impairments. Allow designated patient advocates to assist patients while accessing their health information. Patients must give consent to such assistance, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) must be adhered to at all times. RHIOs should have a translation function allowing the EHR to be viewed in the patient's primary language.