Oklahoma nonprofit coalition works to improve state's health care system

Dr. David Kendrick helped create MyHealth Access Network, an Oklahoma nonprofit coalition of more than 200 organizations in northeastern Oklahoma, with a goal to improve health care quality and the health of residents while controlling costs.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: January 30, 2014

Dr. David Kendrick approached being a doctor like an engineer would.

And as a former engineer, he saw a broken health care system that he wanted to help improve.

Kendrick helped create MyHealth Access Network, a nonprofit coalition of more than 200 organizations in northeastern Oklahoma, with a goal to improve health care quality and the health of area residents while controlling costs.

Kendrick, MyHealth's CEO, answered a few questions about how the system works and how it can help improve the quality of health care that residents receive.

Why did you want to start MyHealth?

Kendrick said he wanted to start MyHealth because Oklahoma's health care system needed a program that would allow doctors to see a patient's true medical history and also a way for patients to take their medical records with them, regardless of which health care professional they saw.

“The general thinking among the hospitals is that patients are completely loyal and that ‘they only ever come to me,'” he said. “And that is just not the case. Convenience is a factor, and sometimes we get a doctor we don't like, and sometimes we don't like waiting in line.”

If a person sees a doctor who uses MyHealth, their medical information, if the patient approves, would go into the MyHealth electronic medical record system. If that patient goes on to see a doctor in another health system or multiple specialists, and each of those health care professionals uses MyHealth, that patient's information would all be in one place.

“The problem is that, in four out of five doctor visits, there's a piece of information missing from the history of the chart that would have changed (the doctor's) plan for the patient, but it's just not there,” Kendrick said.

This is because, often times, patient information isn't carried over from doctor to doctor or shared among hospital systems. MyHealth changes that, he said.

Additionally, MyHealth is a nonprofit and will not sell a patient's information to anyone, he said.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, medicine and fitness, among other things. She graduated from Oklahoma State University with a news-editorial and broadcast production degree. Outside of work, she enjoys riding her bike, taking pictures of...
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