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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Dec 17 2012   8:16PM GMT

Essential technologies for concierge medicine



Posted by: RedaChouffani
Concierge medicine, mhealth, telemedicine

Traditional communication models are proving to be too challenging and restricting for many patients who are looking for a direct channel of communication with their primary care physician. The rising number of concierge services being offered in major cities and some rural areas is adding to this trend of direct communication. Physicians are offering patients direct access to them via text messaging, video conferencing, and open schedules for same day appointments. This is causing many physicians to look for other technologies that will enable them to effectively communicate, give them better tracking capabilities, and offer quick and effective access.

This push is also happening also within accountable care organizations (ACOs). Physicians are looking for communication platforms that can complement EHR packages that easily integrate to enable better ways to capture remote data as well as communicate quickly with patients without learning too many packages. Physicians don’t want to jump from product to product when they are treating their patients, as it can be a distraction and inefficient use of their time.
Some of the technologies being considered for faster and more effective service are:

Patient web portal integrated with existing EHR packages:

Patients opting to use concierge service when participating in an ACO will likely need to use a portal to securely communicate with physicians. They will also need electronic access to their chart as well as the details or messages from their care providers. These portals will also provide them with access to their health records, lab results, and treatment plans.

Telehealth and mHealth:

Patients will require the use of mobile apps and devices to enable the transmission of information and provide means of immediate access to data. This will provide them the ability to work closely with their physicians on their care and give them tools to help manage a chronic disease. Physicians would need to provide and operate on various platforms to enable these interactions.

Teleconferencing:

Teleconferencing is another technology aimed at improving communication. It includes the tools that allows patients to have a conference call with their caregiver without leaving their home. This could be a very significant step toward ensuring that patients can have immediate access to professional health advice. It can be more convenient and create a better health outcome.

Patient engagement is thought to be a critical step toward the overall improvement of the populations’ health. ACOs and concierge medicine focus primarily on improved outcome measures through active collaboration of care and patient engagement. These models are attracting patients and will continue to, as some offer quick or around the clock access to physicians.

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