Electronic medical records were a novelty only a few years ago, but now are becoming increasingly standard.

U.S. technology giant IBM and Duke University have created a Web portal that will manage all doctor-patient communication.
Currently, doctors frequently use different sites for different functions such as patient billing and electronic health records.
The new Web site will allow patients to access data and services including personal health profiles, clinical content, account billing and insurance information. Patients will also be able to save time by filling out forms online in advance of their office visit.
IBM constructed a service-oriented architecture allowing the site to compile the information from other electronic sources, and the Duke University Medical Center is launching the portal for all its patients.
“In order to build deeper relationships with our patients, we needed a unified communication tool that would bring together different data for a holistic view,” said Asif Ahmad, chief information officer of the Duke University Health System and Duke University Medical Center.
The portal is helping Duke Medicine improve patient satisfaction and safety by giving patients and clinicians the information they need to work together for better health outcomes.