Can we link our student health records with online personal health services?

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Q:  Can we link our health records at the student health center with Google Health or other online personal health services?

A:  Great Question!  Seems pretty straightforward, right?  Student health keeps its records in electronic format, Google Health is all about health records in electronic format, so let’s just get ‘em talking to each other!  If only it were that easy.

While Google Health is probably the most well known, there are actually many players in the Personal Health Information (PHI) market.  Each of these systems offers you a way to store your health information in one location and they all claim that this will allow you to have your information automatically updated from doctor offices, hospitals, pharmacies and more.  AND they all say that it will be easy.  It’s not. 

Each of these vendors has its own way of doing things.  In order to transfer information to one of these systems, Student Health would have to: make sure you are who you say you are, extract your health data, modify it to look the way your specific PHI needs it to look, and finally upload the information to the PHI system via a secure channel that is compliant with HIPAA, the federal law that enforces strict privacy of your personal health information.   

But while we aren’t likely to be linked up with Google Health any time soon, we are working on some pretty tech-savvy things that will be implemented in the very near future.  The most exciting is our new health portal, which will allow you to:

  • View and print your immunization record
  • Schedule your appointments
  • Send and receive secure messages to/from your provider

We’re really psyched about that last feature.  No more playing phone tag with your provider to get your lab results!  They’ll be sent to you via a secure message to which you can reply and ask questions at your convenience.  And that, my friend, is something even the mighty Google can’t do!

Tina Comston, Systems Specialist (OSU SHS)

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