Building on its commitment to increase consumers to be engaged in making personal healthcare decisions, the American Nurses Association (ANA) first is seeking to ensure that registered nurses use their own personal health information to improve their health.
The pledge ANA is asking RNs to sign is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's Consumer Campaign Pledge to involve and empower consumers in their health management through the use of information technology.
The ANA pledge asks RNs to obtain their personal health records from their healthcare providers, develop or maintain the records online, and use those records to make decisions about their own health.
"It's important for nurses to make this pledge and follow through," says ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN.
"We'll be better advocates for patients' involvement in their care once we experience and understand how using our personal health information informs our decisions and improves our health," Daly adds. "We'll have first-hand knowledge of what it's like to be empowered in a health care system that is truly patient-centered."
The pledge commits RNs to find and check their electronic health information for accuracy and completeness and to use that information to engage in decision-making that will influence the costs of their care and health outcomes.
According to ANA, making judicious use of personal health records is one of many areas RNs can serve as role models for patients and showcase healthy decision-making. With 3.1 million strong, nursing is the largest health care profession and consistently ranks as the most trusted profession nationally in a Gallup annual survey.
Once nurses become adept at using their personal health records, ANA plans to encourage nurses to focus on educating consumers on how to access and use their personal health records to make informed decisions and better manage their health.