When I was working to improve my own health a few years ago, I realized how difficult it was to access my healthcare history. Over the course of ten years I had compiled valuable medical data in three different patient portals within the San Francisco Bay Area (Stanford, UCSF and St. Mary’s). To make matters worse, I recently moved to a new health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act. My doctor of five years did not accept this new insurance and I therefore had to find a new physician. I had to set up a fourth patient portal containing yet another fragment of my health data. This was in addition to all the information I had in paper records and PDF files. What a mess!
Centralizing Your Records with Heads Up Health
A recent article in the Wall St. Journal, How to Take Charge of Your Medical Records, talks about how important it can be for consumers to take charge their health data. The challenge is how to get all of the data in one place. At Heads Up we set out to solve this problem for our users. Our goal was to make it easy for anyone to have all their information at their fingertips. We accomplish this in three ways:
Automatically downloading your records:
Our software is already capable of connecting to thousands of medical facilities across the country and we are adding more every week. We can import your records from any facility with a supported connection and show you everything in one place. Even though these facilities are not capable of centralizing your records, we can download each set of records and centralize the information for you.
Entering historical data manually:
The reality is that even with advancements in electronic health records, we will still have to deal with records on paper and PDF files for the foreseeable future. Heads Up makes it easy to enter these historical records so you can access them right next to your electronic records.
We realize many people would like the benefit of centralized records but may not have the time or the expertise to request all of these records and load them into the Heads Up system. Our “Concierge Service” can help with this task. With this service, you have your own personal concierge who will do all the work for you.
The Power of Your Health Records
With all your records at your fingertips, you are now empowered to manage your health in new ways. Consider some of the following benefits of having your medical information in one convenient, central location:
- Know your numbers: Doctors are extremely busy. They may glance at your medical history for a few seconds before your appointment but outside of that, your information is largely ignored. Taking your medical data into your own hands gives you the ability to understand your own numbers, track how changes in your lifestyle affect these numbers, spot trends, and maintain a better understanding of your own body.
- Ask better questions: As you learn more about your health, you can start asking your doctor better questions and demanding better answers. You can do your own research before your appointments and go prepared with informed questions.
- Get a second opinion: If you aren’t satisfied with the answers you are getting, having your own records makes it easy to get a second opinion. You are no longer limited to physicians who previously had access to your data. In fact, many people use this approach to solicit care from health professionals other than traditional medical doctors. Functional medicine specialists, nutritionists, naturopathic doctors and many other specialists can provide highly valuable care, especially if you can provide them with your detailed medical history.
- Detect errors: When individuals can scrutinize their own records, they are more likely to detect errors. These could be errors when the data was entered into the health record by a physician or medical facility. They could also be medical errors where a physician overlooked an important medical clue that could have prevented a medical issue or led to an earlier diagnosis or intervention.
The winds of change are starting to blow through the healthcare industry. More and more people are taking control of their health data and using it to take a more self-directed approach to their care. The days of living in one city and seeing the same doctor are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Individuals want freedom and choice to move freely and consult with whomever they choose. Our goal is to empower you with your own information. Learn more at headsuphealth.com and register for our beta program. You can also contact us any time with questions or comments. We’re here to help!
Founder & CEO