Destination Spotlight

Portable Medical Records ~ Bumrungrad Hospital and Microsoft Team Up To Help Medical Travelers Get Continuity of Care

Destination Spotlight

Bumrungrad was the first JCI-accredited hospital in Asia and is one of the world’s most popular medical destinations. The hospital offers over a thousand specialists, 230 of which have been American board-certified. English is widely spoken and over 120 interpreters are available for other languages.

The hospital’s introduction of HealthVault is the latest in a series of innovations for medical travelers innovations that include online appointments, hotel-like amenities and services, international medical coordinators and information about what patients paid for procedures on its website.

Smart medical travelers and experienced international hospitals know that treatment abroad is seldom complete without follow-up back home. Effective recovery may be as simple as changing dressings or as demanding as physical rehabilitation. In any case, doctors need records of diagnoses, tests, and treatment.

The patient is mobile, but is the information?  Electronic medical records that can be shared among providers are a key to more efficient healthcare in the US and other countries. Such portable medical records will be just as valuable to medical travelers.

Microsoft and Thailand’s Bumrungrad International hospital announced at the Medical Tourism Association’s Global Health Congress last October that they have begun a phased rollout of a new service using Microsoft’s HealthVault, an online personal health application platform.

They plan to offer the service to medical travelers at Bumrungrad beginning early this year. By connecting HealthVault to its Microsoft Amalga hospital information system (HIS), Bumrungrad will empower patients to access their Bumrungrad medical records online and maintain continuity with doctors back home.

Patients will be able to receive a copy of their medical information generated at Bumrungrad—including test results, medications and discharge summaries—into their individual HealthVault accounts. Once their personal health information is stored in HealthVault, the patient can provide it, as desired, to other clinicians and caregivers, or use it with a wide range of personal health applications.

“I think it’s a wonderful next step,” said Jack Taylor, a 63-year-old private pilot who lives in California and has traveled to Bumrungrad for treatment. Taylor was enlisted to test Bumrungrad’s implementation of HealthVault using information from visits he made to the hospital last summer and is excited about the prospect of easily tracking his treatments.

Bumrungrad will be the first international hospital to offer connectivity to HealthVault; an innovation medical travelers have been waiting for.

“It’ll make it easier for all parties concerned, for me, for my doctor, to access the details online,” said Taylor. “I’m really looking forward to this. Whether it’s for Bumrungrad doctors to look at, or any other specialists, that’s a good thing.”

The world-famous Thai hospital is a natural early-adopter of HealthVault for another reason: its long experience using Microsoft’s Amalga HIS. Amalga is a comprehensive hospital information system that provides rich integration of a patient’s critical information, including registration, clinical systems, laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, allergies and vital signs, giving clinicians and administrators access to information within and across departments. Once authorized by the patient, Amalga HIS uses the ASTM Continuity of Care Record (CCR) industry-standard specification to push medical information into the patient’s HealthVault account.

“At Bumrungrad, patients can get excellent care at a fraction of the American cost,” said Curtis Schroeder, the hospital’s group CEO. “And with HealthVault, they can share their medical records with doctors on both sides of the ocean — things like medical history, lab results and procedure details. We see it as a great innovation supporting continuity of care.”

Amalga HIS also can pull a patient’s medication lists, allergies and vital signs such as blood pressure and blood glucose from the patient’s HealthVault record into Amalga HIS, saving time for the patient and improving the completeness and accuracy of patient information delivered to Bumrungrad clinicians.

“We believe empowering consumers with a copy of their personal health data and facilitating continuity of care among health care providers is critically important,” said Nate McLemore, general manager, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “We’re pleased to be working with Bumrungrad, a leader in international medicine, to offer these capabilities to patients and providers.”

About the Author

Bumrungrad International was the first Joint Commission accredited hospital in Asia, and has served over 3 million international patients during the past decade. In 2008 it was recognized by the American Medical Directors of Iinformation Systems (AMDIS) in its annual awards for hospital information technology. Kenneth Mays is Bumrungrad’s head of Marketing and Business Development.

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