Patients are using healthcare technologies for a variety of reasons. Recently, the Meaningful-Use rule was released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, providing some initial guidance for patient-facing technologies. There needs to be more of an understanding of patients' needs and how these technologies can be utilized effectively. This article provides a framework for organizing patient-facing technologies into categories of meaningful use, and how these technologies can improve healthcare quality, safety, and population health. Barriers to achieving meaningful use of HIT and unintended consequences of patient-facing technologies are discussed. The success of healthcare reform is predicated on achieving improved health outcomes and reduced costs, which can be accomplished only by activating patients to become more engaged in their own care. Patient-facing technologies are likely to play a critical role in supporting patients to become more informed and activated and may also improve efficiencies. Further research is needed to identify the most useful and effective technologies for patients.
Copyright © 2011 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.