Positive Health Impacts of Health IT

Mindi Bolssen

I am incredibly fortunate to be healthy, and I do not take my health for granted. Most of us know that we should maintain a healthy diet and adhere to a planned exercise regimen, but that’s only part of the equation for staying healthy. Another key component of managing your own health is getting routine healthcare: annual physical exam, semi-annual dental cleaning and exam, recommended lab work, etc. Healthcare Information Technology had simplified this component of managing my health and enabled me to better plan my daily diet and exercise regimen.

With a patient portal literally at my fingertips via my smartphone, I have twenty-four seven access to schedule my routine healthcare exams, review my lab results, review the progress notes from my recent visit and see a list any recommended procedures based on my gender and age. In some cases, I have the ability to have a virtual appointment with my provider, while I am on a coffee break, rather than taking time off of work.

Healthcare information technology has significantly increased the visibility to my health records, and I have become much more engaged with managing my health. I can view how my lab tests, for example, have changed over time and use that information to modify my diet and exercise regimen. Healthcare information technology has provided me with the information I need to take a proactive approach to my health management.

One of the most positive impacts of healthcare information technology has had in my life is seeing how my increased awareness and engagement has inspired some of my family and friends to do the same.