Health IT and Electronic Health Activate your FREE membership today |  Log-in

Community Blog


March 21, 2013  11:47 AM

The clinical help desk: Improving clinical information system adoption, physician satisfaction



Posted by: Jenny Laurello
Cancer Treatment Centers of America, clinical help desk, Detroit Medical Center, help desk, IT staff, outsourced clinical help desk

As the manager of clinical systems and senior project manager at Detroit Medical Center (DMC), Danielle Sun has a lot on her plate. Managing IT operations, systems integration and clinical workflow through the nine hospital network can be a challenge, to say the least. But what keeps the wheels greased and operations running smoothly? Sun credits her extremely dedicated IT staff, which includes a 24/7 accessible clinical help desk to support operations and handle mission-critical requests at the drop of a health IT hat.

“How do you keep your IT staff current? How do you look into the future?” Sun questions. “In the last 10 years, things have exploded exponentially. The DMC has made significant investments in IT and the clinical help desk is there to help support the needs of our advancing clinical infrastructure.”

Chris Downs, director of IT account management at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, feels similarly about the payoff of migrating to an outsourced clinical help desk for improved efficiency, physician satisfaction, technology utilization and an assurance of quality care.

“We’re all about patient experience. We have clinicians bringing their own devices and patients who want to do the same. What keeps me up at night? Security. I just got an email about another stolen laptop today. But trying to keep up with what clinicians and patients want is overall what improves the patient experience. We originally moved from an in house help desk to a generic, nationally known help desk, but it didn’t get us what we needed.” So Downs migrated his organization to a clinical help desk, which he believes has made all the difference in clinician utilization and adoption of technology that directly impacts patient care.

The clinical help desk utilized by both the DMC and Cancer Centers of America, run by CareTech Solutions, is a solution that both Sun and Downs see as a critical part of clinician and patient  satisfaction, improved care, and maintaining an overall successful clinical workflow.  “The help desk keeps everything moving. Clinicians, stakeholders, technologists and the help desk are constantly working together. Most of our calls from clinicians — approximately 80% — are, ‘how do I do this?’, and we support IT implementations because of our clinical help desk infrastructure,” notes Sun.  

“When the ED [emergency department] physicians call in with an issue, their number one priority is to get right back to the patient, so we have standards about what requests are triaged out to in-house specialty teams and what goes right to the help desk. The clinical help desk can handle approximately 70% of incoming calls initially. But if it’s for device support, it then goes directly to the device group. If it’s an application issue, it goes to the app group. And if I call in from the ED, that goes right to the top,” Sun continued.

Looking at ways to improve IT support for clinicians and offer self-service options while also considering cost reduction and efficiency gains potentials were integral parts of the vendor selection process for Downs.

“We looked at culture fit of the technology.  Paramount for us was the ’mother’ standard of care. We treat all of our patients like we’d treat our mothers. We also wanted someone who could be brand standard across six centers and who understood the clinical aspect — 24/7/365 availability and 100% uptime was something we demanded. We also wanted to treat them as a partner, not a vendor.”

“Previously, there was not an onsite relationship manager, which we now have, and which has improved the overall process. Scalability was another key issue. As our organization continues to grow, we need a product that keeps up with that,” said Downs.

Sun echoed similar sentiments, adding that your clinicians “need to be in step with your help desk,” receiving “ongoing training and communication. We did an upgrade at the DMC in December and there was quite a bit of training. What seems inconsequential to me might not be for others, and the clinical help desk did an excellent job of supporting that.”

Their best bits of advice for those considering outsourcing their clinical help desk capabilities?

Downs pointed out that “there’s a cost to doing everything, but there’s also a cost of doing nothing,” and investing in clinical help desk support now will benefit his organization in both the long and short term, especially given the dynamic, clinically driven IT environment that is now standard throughout the industry.  “EHRs are in constant evolution and the help desk is the first touch point to your users. This is not where to cut costs.”

Added Sun, “If you want to be world class, you need to provide the mechanism to support EHR adoption and a structure around it. In many worlds, you’d need to have a lot of users first saying that there is a problem, where your end goal then becomes to resolve it before it comes major. But if we have a system problem, the help desk handles all of that initial communication up front and we know of the first issue right off the bat. This way we’re proactive, not reactive, and this keeps our physician adoption and satisfaction rates high.”

March 21, 2013  11:09 AM

HIPAA omnibus rule redefines role of business associates



Posted by: Jenny Laurello
Business associates, covered entities, HIPAA, HIPAA omnibus, PHI, Protected health information

Guest post by Ruby Raley, director of healthcare solutions, Axway

Covered entities (e.g., doctors, hospitals, etc.) provide health services, while business associates help them provide health services. Until January, only covered entities were responsible for reporting data breaches to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). While HIPAA required the covered entities to contractually obligate their business associates to safeguard any protected health information (PHI) they handled, business associates were under no obligation to report data breaches to anyone other than the covered entities they served.

But that’s all changed since the finalization of the HIPAA Omnibus rule:

  • Health information exchanges, regional health information organizations, or any companies or communities (e.g., a document-storage company, a media-destruction company, an e-prescribing gateway, a patient-safety organization, etc.) that provide more than just data-transmission services for PHI are now business associates.
  • Business associates are now required to report any PHI breaches directly to HHS Office for Civil Rights, abide by the same rules and regulations as the covered entities they serve, and accept the same penalties.

So the question is: are you a business associate?

Do you create, receive, maintain, or transmit PHI? If so, you’re a business associate. But if you merely bus the PHI (e.g., a telecommunications company, a courier, etc.) and don’t have regular access to it, you’re not.

What if you’re a record-locator service, an entity that uses PHI to respond to questions from a community? You’re not creating, receiving, maintaining, or transmitting PHI, but you are accessing it regularly. You’re a business associate.

What if you merely bus data but are required by state law to look at it in order to satisfy a discovery requirement, manage a billing issue, or research a transmission failure? You’re not accessing it regularly, so again, you’re not a business associate.

Reality isn’t always as black and white as these examples. For instance, is a PHI record vendor a business associate? It depends. A PHI record vendor who solicits all the hospitals in a state and signs interoperability agreements in order to receive PHI would not be a business associate.

A vendor becomes a business associate the moment a hospital asks that vendor to open up a patient portal on its behalf.If a business associate subcontracts personnel to work in their IT department, the subcontractor is now subject to HIPAA and In fact, if that subcontractor hires their own subcontractor to help with their subcontracted work, they too will become a business associate and subject to HIPAA.

This means you must now take a fresh look at every relationship you and your partners maintain, no matter how many degrees of separation there may be between you and a covered entity. You must determine whether your partners, subcontractors, or their subcontractors are accessing data while performing a service for you — and if they are, therefore, classifiable as business associates.

HIPAA is trying to ensure that partners and subcontractors take the same care with data as covered entities and business associates do. That makes it the perfect time to review your policies and perform a new risk assessment. It’s time to determine if you routinely access PHI to perform a specific task on someone’s behalf and if you must conform to HIPAA’s new definition.

All business associates must recognize their status and ensure their compliance with the HIPAA Omnibus rule by September 23, 2013. Will you guarantee you’ve satisfied the definition by then, or are you merely “pretty sure” you already have?

For more information, please visit Axway.


March 19, 2013  1:03 PM

The healthcare cloud is on the horizon



Posted by: Jenny Laurello
Cloud, Cloud computing, Data breach, EHR, HIE, HIPAA, HL7, IEEE, SaaS, storage as a service, virtualization

Guest post by Thomas C. Jepsen, IEEE Computer Society member and health IT consultant

You may recall a Joni Mitchell song from the 1970s about “looking at clouds from both sides now,” in which the singer concludes that, “I really don’t know clouds at all.” If you’re involved in health IT these days, you’ve probably felt this way yourself at one time or another.

Cloud computing has had limited acceptance in many market sectors, particularly healthcare, despite its relentless promotion over the last five years. The initial optimistic estimates of the cloud computing market size have been scaled back to more realistic numbers. Reports of data loss and security breaches have discouraged many potential customers — especially in the healthcare sector, where privacy, security and reliability are primary concerns — and shifted the focus from the public cloud (i.e., the Internet) to private clouds implemented as secure private networks. A recent poll indicated that while 37% of healthcare providers included cloud computing in their strategic plans, only about 5% had actually implemented a functional cloud platform.

Part of the cloud’s image problem is that it’s not really an architecture — it is a “marketecture.” A glimpse inside the cloud reveals the primary technology underlying cloud computing is virtualization — providing the user with a segment of platform, infrastructure, software, or storage for their exclusive use. Some of these services like software as a service and storage as a service may offer significant advantages, especially for small and mid-size healthcare providers who cannot afford the services of a full-time IT department. But the fundamental requirements for any healthcare-related application — privacy, security, reliability — need to be considered in selecting a vendor.

One option is to obtain these services from an HIE. HIEs were originally developed to enable healthcare providers to share medical records and related patient data. Since HIEs are designed to handle protected health information, they are required to support common health information technology protocols such as HL7, and to conform to HIPAA privacy and security regulations. Many state and regional HIEs are already in service; however, developing a business model that provides a consistent revenue stream has been problematic. HIEs looking for a sustainable business plan may want to consider offering virtualized services to small clinics and private practices that don’t have, or can’t afford, a full-time IT staff. Some of the services that could be offered include electronic health records (EHRs), identity management, data backup, and business analytics.

One of the issues that arises when healthcare providers negotiate with third-party vendors is ownership of data from a legal standpoint. HIPAA and the title XIII breach disclosure portion of the HITECH Act require that the vendor operate under the same “umbrella of security” as the healthcare provider itself. Negotiating a contract with a vendor unfamiliar with the details of HIPAA and breach disclosure can be difficult. One advantage of dealing with an HIE as a vendor is the ability to use a standardized agreement called the data use and reciprocal support agreement (DURSA), which spells out the details of data ownership, access, and reporting responsibility for both parties. The details of a DURSA agreement can be customized to suit the needs of a specific provider/HIE relationship.

Finally, there are some basic questions healthcare providers need to ask when contracting for virtual services:

  • Where is my data being stored? What is the physical location of the data? What backup technique is being used?
  • What security features have been implemented? Is authentication performed for both clients and servers? Is the entire service HIPAA compliant?
  • How is privacy enforced? Who else has access to my data?
  • Is the EHR certified, standards-based, and interoperable? Will it enable me to meet meaningful use criteria?

While we can’t guarantee that this approach will cause the clouds to part and the sun to come out, asking the right questions of the right vendor will put you on the path to secure and cost-efficient use of virtualized services.


March 14, 2013  10:05 AM

Case study: HIPAA compliant cloud powers healthcare incentives bundled payment program



Posted by: Jenny Laurello
Cloud, Data breach, ePHI, Health care payments, HIPAA, HIPAA compliance

  Guest post by April Sage, Director of Healthcare Vertical, Online Tech

The Colorado Business Group on Health (CBGH), a small nonprofit coalition representing major purchasers of healthcare services, is leading the way when it comes to transforming healthcare payment models. CBGH’s mission is to advance the purchaser role to accelerate cost-effective, high quality healthcare. One way of doing so is to develop a program that supports the transition in the country’s healthcare payment design.

The healthcare model is being transformed to better reflect actual patient health outcomes, instead of rewarding physicians for the amount of services provided (ordering an x-ray, exam, diagnosis, etc.), in order to measure the effectiveness of services rendered. Now, physicians are rewarded based on whether or not a patient’s health is improving.

CBGH has developed a new healthcare payment model, the Healthcare Incentives Payment Pilot, to reflect this shift. The program rewards healthcare physicians that effectively deliver better patient outcomes, based off of the Prometheus Payment model.

The program analyzes big data in order to match businesses with physicians and healthcare providers that have achieved the best patient outcomes. As a result, businesses can effectively lower their employee group insurance costs by choosing physicians that show the greatest success rate in treating patients with certain pre-existing conditions. Physicians then receive incentives from the businesses, motivating them to continue delivering quality care.

CBGH needed to protect the electronic protected health information (ePHI) collected in order to run the program analytics. The industry standard for safeguarding health data, HIPAA, has a set of technical, physical and administrative security requirements that healthcare organizations must meet. These requirements reduce the risk of a data breach and loss of sensitive patient health information.

CBGH turned to Online Tech’s HIPAA compliant managed cloud servers housed in their high availability tier III data centers. Cloud computing offers the group flexibility to meet demand without wasting resources. The outsourced cloud solution also leverages support and ongoing facility maintenance to ensure their data environment can meet HIPAA compliance standards.

Cloud service providers for organizations that collect, store or transmit ePHI must also meet HIPAA compliance standards and be able to provide documentation of their independent audit report. The final omnibus rule, released earlier this year, modified HIPAA to require business associates (service providers) to be able to pass a federal audit of their services, facilities and staff.

It was beneficial for CBGH to partner with Online Tech to leverage their risk assessment documentation and HIPAA expertise to help them achieve compliance. Outsourcing their HIPAA hosting solution proved to be more economical than maintaining their own IT infrastructure that could withstand the scrutiny of federal auditors. CBGH is able to deploy innovative healthcare payment programs while trusting in the high availability and compliance of their technical solution with the support of HIPAA compliant cloud hosting.

About Online Tech

Online Tech leads in secure, compliant hosting services including cloud hosting, managed dedicated servers, Michigan colocation and disaster recovery. For more information, call (877)740-5028, email: contactus@onlinetech.com or visit www.onlinetech.com.


March 1, 2013  1:30 PM

Tweets of the Week: HIMSS 2013 Edition: 2/25 – 3/1



Posted by: EmilyHuizenga
Uncategorized

HIMSS 2013 is right around the weekend! To celebrate the splendor that is an entire HIT community in one city, we present Tweets of the Week: HIMSS 2013 Edition.

Tweets of the Week:  2/25 – 3/1

 

  • Best Question: @Geek_NurseCurious to hear my tweeps thoughts if we will see a stage 3 #meaningful use NPRM released at #himss13 this week? #mu3#hitech #emr #hit
  • Best Reporter Tweet: @john_chilmark: Can’t believe it. Still getting inquiries for mtgs at #HIMSS13. Pls stop the madness
  • Best Link-Less: @IT_Practice: With 3 million square feet at #HIMSS13 & 1100 exhibitors, it would take 7.6 days to spend just 10 mins at each.#HIMSSanity
  • Best on Social Media: @KenOnHIT: I’ll be tweeting a ton at #HIMSS13. If interested, great. If not, mute me Mon-Wed w/ this app http://ow.ly/iaUQZ
  • Best For Those at Home:@HIMSS If you can’t attend #HIMSS13, catch it online! http://ow.ly/i2gx6  Access to Keynote & on-demand education sessions.
As usual, follow the SearchHealthIT and HITExchange editors for the best HIT news all week, and get Linkedin with the SearchHealthIT community!


February 26, 2013  1:39 PM

Standardizing evidence-based health care through longitudinal care planning



Posted by: Jenny Laurello
CDS, clinical decision support, continuity of care, EBM, evidence-based care, Evidence-based medicine, longitudinal care, longitudinal care plan

Guest post by: Patricia Button, EdD, RN, chief nursing officer and director of nursing content, Zynx Health

There are a myriad of challenges associated with actualizing (making real) the delivery of standardized evidence-based health care across the continuum of care. Continuity of care across the continuum refers to the degree to which a patient’s and family’s care is coherent and linked. And standardized evidence-based care refers to the degree to which care is provided consistently across the various venues of care and the degree to which that care is based on the most current research and best practices.

A key tool that has emerged as the means both for continuity and standardization is the so called “longitudinal care plan“. Such a plan can be thought of as “a single aligned plan of care, semantically available to all disciplines involved, containing information from disparate health and non-health sources, and fully available to the care / service recipient and capable of guiding care and interacting with health IT systems to maintain alignment.”[i] The motivation to deal with the challenges of implementing standardized, evidence-based cross continuum care is ever increasing as the quality and cost imperatives for such care are now mandated not only by professional commitment and integrity, but also by the various aspects of health care reform.

As organizations consider how to manage their investments in IT, it is critical to appreciate both the technical and software infrastructure required to implement and support care across the continuum and also the clinical decision support requirements to assure both the standardization and evidence base needed to assure continuity and impact quality and cost. Increasingly, there is both research based and empirical data that demonstrates the specifics of care that promote continuity and prevent unnecessary inefficiencies, redundancy, and errors in care. A first and key component of such CDS is the accumulation of critical data about a patient, family and their community that is vital to appreciating their health status and risks. This data needs to not only be collected, but routinely updated along the course of a patient’s health care journey. This data collected based on evidence related to both growth and development milestones, family history and environmental factors  provides the basis for a well-informed health maintenance plan as well as systematic and thoughtful management of chronic illness.

Many of the challenges the health care industry is currently facing, unnecessary readmissions, ongoing high rates of medical error, gaps in patients’ and families’  experience of care, and high rates of those factors that increase the rate of chronic illness are related to systems of care that need enhanced technical infrastructure.  That is well established. However, as the infrastructure is increasingly available, there must also be incorporation of clinical decision support in the infrastructure that supports both providers and patients to make sound decisions based on current research and best practices.

For more information, please visit Zynx Health.


[i] Standards & Interoperability Framework. Longitudinal Care Plan SWG Charter. Accessed at: http://wiki.siframework.org/Longitudinal+Care+Plan+SWG+Charter


February 22, 2013  12:03 PM

Tweets of the Weeks: 2/11 – 2/22



Posted by: EmilyHuizenga
HCSM, HITsm, tweets, tweets of the week, Twitter

This week’s roundup of the best HIT information Twitter can offer.

Tweets of the Weeks:  2/11 – 2/22

 
 
 
Follow SearchHealthIT and HITExchange editors for the best HIT news all week, and get Linkedin with the SearchHealthIT community!
 
 


February 19, 2013  3:15 PM

Use advanced IT tools to proactively manage high-risk patient populations



Posted by: Jenny Laurello
coordinated care, health IT tools, longitudinal care, proactive care, Risk assessment

Guest post by Blair Butterfield, President, VitalHealth Software

The need for coordinated, proactive care focused on caring for chronically ill, high-risk, multiple comorbid patient populations is becoming a critical focus for health care providers as accountable care organizations (ACOs) begin to gain traction.

Providing advanced solutions utilizing cloud-based eHealth application development, Mayo Clinic and the Noaber Foundation co-founded VitalHealth Software in 2006 to address just this very need. This unique platform focuses on point-of-care patient population management to help bend the cost and quality curve and improve outcomes. Conditions targeted include diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, eczema, schizophrenia, obesity, and smoking cessation. The functional design was conceived to be effective utilizing role-based, multi-disciplinary views, coordinated scheduling, structured intake forms, risk assessment, decision support with alerts based on scientific guidelines, referral management, outcome reporting, and patient self-management. On the technical side, the architecture had to be cloud-based, web-enabled, and integrated with existing EMRs and labs.

As a leader in health care delivery, Mayo Clinic leveraged this platform to assist with its goals of better managing primary care patients.[1] Mayo wanted a system “to enable longitudinal care compared to ‘usual’ episodic care,  … providing preventive services for 140,000 patients (cancer screenings, immunizations, metabolic screenings and wellness counseling), chronic disease management  for patients with hypertension, depression, diabetes, asthma, CAD  (coronary artery disease), and CHF (congestive heart failure).”[2]  The goal was to engage “allied health staff to offload responsibilities from MDs both at population level and for patients being physically seen for preventive care and care for chronic conditions so that our MDs can spend their valuable time caring for patients and not … searching for information.”[3] Data revealed that time saved per patient for preventive services, diabetes and CAD care was 3.9 minutes per patient for MDs, 2.7 minutes per patient for licensed practical nurses, and 2.17 minutes per patient for administrative staff.[4] A number of clinical studies resulting from this implementation have been published, validating reduced hospital readmissions in frail elderly[5], increased advance care planning[6], and higher rates of osteoporosis screening[7].

For organizations going down the path of stratifying and managing patient populations, tools become a critical component of the health IT environment and a key enabler for assuming the risk-sharing required under accountable care models, patient-centered medical homes, and clinically integrated networks — while enhancing quality and outcomes of care.


[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] BMC Health Services Research 2010, 10:338; Use of an Electronic Administrative Database to Identify Older Community Dwelling Adults at High-Risk for Hospitalization or Emergency Department Visits: The Elders Risk Assessment Index; Sarah J Crane, Ericka E Tung, Gregory J Hanson, Stephen Cha, Rajeev Chaudhry, and Paul Y Takahashi.
[6] Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine® 000(00) 1-6, 2010: Clinical Decision Support Technology to Increase Advance Care Planning in the Primary Care Setting; Ericka E. Tung, MD, MPH, Kristin S. Vickers, PhD, Kandace Lackore, BA, Rosa Cabanela, PhD, Julie Hathaway, MS, and Rajeev Chaudhry, MBBS, MPH.
[7] Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice ISSN 1365-2753, Use of a clinical decision support system to increase osteoporosis screening; Ramona S. DeJesus MD, Kurt B. Angstman MD, Rebecca Kesman MD, Robert J. Stroebel MD, Matthew E. Bernard MD, Sidna M. Scheitel MD MPH, Vicki L. Hunt MD, Ahmed S. Rahman BS and Rajeev Chaudhry MBBS MPH.


February 15, 2013  11:13 AM

Exceed every expectation for your health care network in 2013



Posted by: Jenny Laurello
data interoperability, health information exchange, HIE, IDNs, Interoperability, Networking, patient identification, public health information exchanges, Risk assessment

Guest post by Ruby Raley, director of healthcare solutions, Axway

Past interactions between customer communities were all about hub and spoke. There were HIE hubs, hubs as plans of a claims-payment process, hubs as integrated delivery networks (IDNs) of consolidated revenue-cycle management processes, and hubs of communities with physicians. Hubs dictated the structure of data, the frequency of data exchange, and who could join; spokes complied with the hubs, which required them to employ staff to address all the disparate standards. Because of these difficulties and the resulting expense, sometimes the spokes could not comply at all, and the hub had to provide alternate methods, which increased their costs.

Hubs are coming apart in 2013. Public health information exchanges (HIEs) are no longer at the center of discussions. Instead, they’re being marginalized in favor of the network concept, which is basically a collection of peers collaborating.

In health care, however, there are unequal peers — peers using smartphones, iPads, and other devices to receive and process health records, view or collect medical images, send images to remote specialists, and collaborate with a vast network. Peers are using cloud services and interacting with everything from small physicians’ offices to large organizations.

There is also no hierarchical structure governing the role of the person operating the node of the network. In an accountable care organization, a registered nurse, clinical manager, or even a quality-review board — completely unaffiliated with the patient’s physician — may actually be the one sending a note to a second doctor to request tests, procedures, or test results. It’s all happening in real time — much more quickly than it ever did with the hub-and-spoke model, where file-based exchanges like claims and lab results were batched and sent periodically throughout the day.

Today, we’re all part of a network — a collaboration of many hubs and many spokes — and we have to consider several items for that collaboration to be successful.

  • Trust and identity verification. There are have unequal peers from all types of organizations across any network, and we must manage our relationships with them. That can be done by standardizing how our communications are secured, how we identify those peers, and how we routinely verify their identities.
  • Risk assessments. With networks come increased ad hoc exchanges, and increased risk. Yet we can’t afford to take all of these network collaborations and turn them into connections. Risk-assessment processes must be strengthened to accommodate operating in a network environment, and not a hub-and-spoke environment with static connections and endpoints. This will require additional governance and auditability tools that will give us more visibility over a standard catalog of processes.
  • Interoperability. Interoperability is going to be the replacement word for HIE. Interoperating with a large number of people is necessary to effectively collaborate as a peer on the network. That means you’ll need to continue to invest in interaction patterns and data management tools.
  • Velocity. In the past, it was acceptable to take six weeks to establish an electronic data interchange connection with a new partner, but in the new world of the network, speed is a critical factor that puts stress on our infrastructure and processes — and we need to plan for it. Soon you’ll be establishing quick, secure connections with parties you’ve never connected with before, and you’ll need to verify their identities in a flash.

A new future is upon us and hub and spoke is a thing of the past. So charge forward into it! Let these items guide your collaborations from the slow, insecure, risky, babelized interaction patterns you’ve been slogging through — where every single connection is a one-off, handcrafted piece of work — and deliver them into a set of manageable interaction patterns.

When you’re looking back at 2013 a year from now, you might be surprised to realize your peer collaborations — however unequal those peers may have been — ultimately managed to exceed every expectation put to them in this humble, hopeful post.


February 8, 2013  1:16 PM

Survey says: Physicians value mobile health apps



Posted by: EmilyHuizenga
EHR, mHealth, Mobile devices

An overwhelming majority (93%) of doctors said they find value in having a mobile health app connected to EHRs – and the same number believe mobile health apps can improve a patient’s health outcome, a new eClinicalWorks survey of 649 physicians reveals. Some 80% said they’d likely recommend a mobile health app to a patient.

The survey, conducted online by the ambulatory EHR vendor, garnered responses from 2,291 health care professionals overall between Jan. 18 and 24.

As cited by physicians and reported in the survey, the top benefits for having a mobile health app feed data back into a patient’s electronic health record are:

  • Nearly six in ten physicians (58%) said a top benefit was the ability to provide patients with automatic appointment alerts and reminders. In fact, six in ten physicians also said that at least half of their patients would be interested in appointment reminders via a mobile app;
  • Nearly half of physicians cited a patient’s access to medical records is a top benefit; and
  • The ease of scheduling appointments.

Moreover, according to physicians, the top three health issues respondents believe could be impacted by linking a mobile health app to an EHR include:

  • Medication adherence (65%)
  • Diabetes care (54%)
  •  Preventative care (52%)

eClinicalWorks released the results alongside an announcement that the company will be investing $25 million over the next 12 months in attempt to further patient engagement tools. The initiative’s first product, a free mobile app for patients, will be available for iOS and Android later this month.


Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: