It would be a little like having an online Personal Health Record, but on steroids. More important, the virtual health home is intended to put the control of health and health care decisions back in the hands of the patient.
This is the vision of Don Kemper and Leslie Kelly Hall, Chairman and CEO and Senior Vice President, respectively, at Healthwise, a nonprofit in Boise, Idaho, that develops health content for consumers. Their "virtual health home" lists patient health records, but it does much more.
Patients personalize the health home with their choice of modules, or playing cards, each with a different focus. Modules include lists of prescriptions, medical records, scheduled appointments, recipes and so on.
In addition, patients take control of their health decisions in different ways:
- Interactive tools list the risks and benefits of possible treatments.
- "Information prescriptions" explain conditions.
- Wellness and prevention plans summarize goals.
- The virtual health home is interactive: When a patient misses a prescription refill, the virtual health home sends him a warning.