We’re proud to partner with our clients to make records available to patients directly within the Health app on their iPhone.
For years, Hixny has offered consumers access to their health records through our patient portal—either independently or by functioning as a healthcare provider’s official portal. In the time since we first developed the patient portal, however, consumer technology has been on an exponential trajectory in terms of both capability and user experience. So, what better way to empower consumers to play an active role in their healthcare than to make Hixny patient records available directly within the Health app on iPhone.
HEALTH RECORDS ON iPHONE
The Apple Health app allows consumers to develop a more holistic view of their health by showing activity, heart rate, nutrition and other health data consolidated from iPhone, Apple Watch and HealthKit-enabled third-party apps, as well as available health records data from multiple connected healthcare institutions, such as hospitals, clinics and labs.
In that way, the Health app serves a similar records aggregation purpose to Hixny’s online patient portal. However, it has a couple of significant user experience advantages. First, it’s been created specifically for use on iPhone. The app has been available on every iPhone for years, meaning that millions of New Yorkers need only activate their accounts and connect to providers sharing records through the app to have access to their health information in their hand at any moment, whether in a provider’s office or between appointments. Second, the federal Veterans Administration (VA) medical system shares records through the Health app—and not through regional or state health information networks (HINs) like Hixny.
Patients gain access to their records through our partners’ Hixny connections.
Creating a patient portal account is the first step.
PARTNERING UP WITH OUR PROVIDERS
With an Innovation and Interoperability Grant from New York State to fund the project, we partnered up with Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) to make patients’ full, aggregated Hixny records available through the CVPH connection to the Health app. In doing so, we became the first HIN in the state to make our records available to consumers through this app.
Next, we’re repeating the effort with both Ellis Medicine and St. Lawrence Health System and streamlining the process so that any of our connected providers who choose to support Health Records on iPhone can notify us. At that point, we’ll be able to simply open the patient records feed to allow Hixny data to flow through their connections.
THE BENEFIT TO HIXNY
The benefits of Hixny information availability through the Health app to patients are evident: improved access to the greatest number of their healthcare records and greater empowerment as a member of their own healthcare team. The benefit for providers is similar: more engaged patients.
For Hixny, the benefits of this effort are somewhat more subtle. It exemplifies our commitment to leapfrog ahead of existing healthcare technology to modernize at the rate consumers expect. It pushes us to improve by holding our work to the standard of the most current consumer and mobile user interfaces, setting us apart from other HINs throughout the state and country.
In fact, because the Health app uses Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) APIs to connect registered organizations’ EHRs and display consumers’ allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals, developing and implementing this integration with Apple is boosting Hixny’s new workflow integrations for providers. OAuth 2.0 allows for one-time user authentication. And notifications keep consumers aware when new records or updated information are available.
Perhaps most importantly, this technology maintains Hixny’s commitment to the secure transfer of personal health information. The Health app uses a direct, encrypted connection between the user’s iPhone and the healthcare organization, and downloaded health records data is stored on-device and encrypted with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID.