The prospective role of personal health records in streamlining and accelerating the disability determination process

Academic Article


  • Background: The disability community could benefit significantly from the widespread adoption of health information technology, in particular from its ability to streamline and accelerate processing of the estimated 3 million disability benefits applications filed with the Social Security Administration each year. Disability determination is an inefficient, largely paper-based process requiring large volumes of clinical data compiled from multiple provider sources. That, coupled with a lack of transparency within the process, adds unnecessary delays and expense. Objective: The objective of this paper is to outline the case for how personal health records, particularly those populated with information from provider-held electronic health records and payer claims data, offer a means to achieve financial savings from shortened disability determination processes, as well as a tool for disability health self-management and care coordination. Methods: Drawing from research and policy forums and testimony before the American Health Information Community, the importance of including the disability community as the nation moves forward with health information technology initiatives is explored. Results: Our research suggests that systemwide improvements such as the Nationwide Health Information Network and other such health information technology initiatives could be used to bring benefits to the disability community. Conclusions: The time has come to use health information technology initiatives so that federal policy makers can takes steps to reduce the inefficiencies in the Social Security Administration disability determination process while improving the program's value to those who need it the most. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Horan TA; Daniels SM; Feldman SS
  • Start Page

  • 153
  • End Page

  • 157
  • Volume

  • 2
  • Issue

  • 3