Many health care providers have opened their EHR systems to patients in order to increase information sharing and patient participation. Accessing to EHR has offered the promises of improving patient understanding, engagement, and outcomes. Although patients generally appreciate the access to their health records, currently, most EHR systems are used as data storage and communication tools and their potential for promoting productive patient engagement have not fully developed. There is a need to develop and incorporate effective health literacy tools into EHR patient portals, helping patients interpret their health data, understand their medical conditions and treatment plans, make informed decisions, and take proper actions. We will examine the challenges that patients face in using EHR portals, then provide two innovative health literacy solutions for facilitating productive patient engagement: (a) an embedded semantic medical search engine that provides reliable and contextualized health information support, and (b) an integrated AI voice chatbot that answers patients' questions and provides on-demand self-care advice. Other approaches that can add benefits to patients in the context of using EHR will also be described.
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