San Juan Regional Medical Center makes medical records more accessible

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FARMINGTON – San Juan Regional Medical Center now offers patients access to their individual health records through the iPhone Health app, allowing them to see their health data at any time.

On an iPhone, the Health app, which displays a heart as the icon, shows a multitude of health information depending on what users have activated, their apps and which devices they might have. For example, the Health app tracks steps, heart rate and nutrition, among others.

The Health Records section is a separate part of the app but allows patients to see all of their medical data and/or progress in one spot.

“Health Records creates a direct connection between San Juan Regional Medical Center and a patient’s iPhone, allowing them to see a central view of their allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals,” said Laura Werbner, spokeswoman for San Juan Regional Medical Center, in a news release Friday. “It also notifies patients when their data is updated.”

Dr. Robert Underwood, chief medical officer for San Juan Regional, said the app can cut down on time spent gathering health data.

“As a provider, it is not only something I encourage but I use personally as part of my overall wellness efforts,” Underwood said.

Annette DiGiacomo, a patient at San Juan Regional, said she visits the medical center for issues that are only “emergency worthy,” though she does have chronic health problems.

“Being a chronically ill person, I have grown accustomed to deciphering my own test results, so having easy access would definitely be a perk,” DiGiacomo said.

While she doesn’t currently use the Health app much, she said she would use it more if she had the information available to her. But she is concerned about whether the app can be hacked, and if so, if sensitive medical information could be hacked.

However, Apple says the Health app was designed to protect patients’ privacy and information by using encrypted connections between iPhone users and health organizations, according to the release.

“Health Records protects patients’ privacy through encryption with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID, so it is safe and secure to use,” Underwood said.

DiGiacomo said having information readily available at her fingertips could be beneficial.

“It would have been nice during my stay to have more information at my fingertips regarding my health,” DiGiacomo said. “At that time, they were so busy, I often didn’t feel like I really knew what was going on with my health.”

For more information about how to link the Health app to the San Juan Regional Medical Center patient portal, visit https://www.apple.com/healthcare/health-records/.

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