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Hospital updates families with mHealth application

BOSTON -- When young patients are discharged from Nicklaus Children's Hospital, part of the Miami Children's Health System, they take their care instructions, medication information and follow-up appointments with them.

However, the details aren't on paper. They're on their families' mobile devices, embedded in them by HealthGrid's CareNotify mHealth app, which funnels information directly from the healthcare system's Cerner EHR to the families.

After that, families receive updates via CareNotify's secure texting function about labs, test results, important meetings and education about their condition.

On the provider side, HealthGrid's CareNarrative lets clinicians securely share patient information from an EHR, including summary of care documents during referrals and transitions of care. Health data information sharing is one of the key measures of CMS's meaningful use program.

In this video, shot at the mHealth + Telehealth World 2015 conference, the Florida healthcare system's CMIO, Jacques Orces, D.O., said the mHealth app from Miami-based HealthGrid is a useful tool for patient engagement.

Orces said patients and families like using the mHealth app, and it provides a "soft ROI [return on investment ]," a sort of unquantifiable but important benefit: increasing patient satisfaction and trust in the healthcare system.

Meanwhile, Varun Hippalgaonkar, HealthGrid's vice president of strategy and business development, called his company's product a "Web push technology" that is device agnostic and designed to keep patients and their caregivers abreast on all episodes of care in real time.

Check out the full transcript below, and let us know what you think about the story or the mHealth application market; email Shaun Sutner, news and features writeror contact @SSutner on Twitter.

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Transcript - Hospital updates families with mHealth application

Jacques Orces: Hopefully, most of us never have to be a patient in a bed or the parent of a patient in the bed. But it can really be an isolating, siloed experience because no one really talks to and communicates with you well; You have strangers walking in and out of your room. CareNotify gives you somewhat of an ownership and an insight into what's going on in your care.

So approximately a year ago, we realized that parents really wanted to be as connected in their health as they are in their daily life. So we worked with HealthGrid to try to get that patient engagement that everyone is looking for. We began with getting patients their discharge instructions electronically. So as soon as patients were discharged, their discharge electronic instructions were loaded onto their mobile phones. They could instantly have access to what medications they were on and what allergies they had, and they could share this information with their family, they could share with their provider.

The next logical step was on the inpatient side. We used CareNotify to help the families learn what was going on with their care. We've all been in hospitals and we've seen that we don't know exactly what's happening or when something has happened. With CareNotify, now the parent knows if an order's been placed for a lab test, if an MRI has been completed, if a doctor came by to do a consult, all pushed electronically to their device and to the people in their family who they think should also be receiving this information. So we've really made the patient and the family part of the care team.

Varun Hippalgaonkar: So I think what we identified in the market very early with the help of Miami Children's Health System was that there seems to be a disconnect between the idea of patient engagement and the demographic trend towards everybody using a mobile solution. So 50% of the internet traffic right now happens from a mobile device. But for some reason that isn't the core way in which providers are trying to engage with their patients. We tried to enact that paradigm shift at Miami Children's and with some of our other customers. What we do is we push information directly to the patient's device -- so we're a push web technology business. What we try to do is push discharge instructions, push education information, push even their ability to check in on their mobile device directly to the patients tool. Fundamentally the way we've differentiated ourselves as a push web solution that's entirely mobile enabled. So fundamentally we're able to access way more people within the market then others are.

Orces: So the content HealthGrid provides in their [mHealth] application, their CareNotify application, is exactly the same content we have in our electronic medical record. We use Cerner for our EMR, and literally if a consult is completed that's real time pushed to the CareNotify app. So their content is 100% what we've worked together in partnership to develop.

The reception of the family by CareNotify has been very, very high. People are expecting the same functionality as you get with Yelp, as you get with buying your tickets online or your boarding passes, and they're getting that with CareNotify but related to their health care. I think the way you have to look at this is this is what I would like to call a soft ROI in the sense that there's no objective measurement. You can take surveys if you want. But the fact that you have families now engaged who are saying, "Can I have the result of the MRI now? I saw it was completed," or, "When will the CBC be ready?" all because they're getting data pushed to their smart devices. I think that's where we're really seeing the gains.

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