Brooks Rehabilitation, Mason General Hospital, Steward Health Care System and PeaceHealth St. Joseph Health Center are among the health systems implementing Microsoft HealthVault Community Connect to improve care coordination and engage patients and families in managing their own health, Microsoft Corp. announced today. The company also said it has developed a sales and services channel for the health portal solution comprising a select group of business and technology consulting organizations nationwide.
HealthVault Community Connect enables hospitals to give patients and referring physicians access, after discharge, to electronic copies of the patients’ personal health data generated at the hospital. The product also lets patients preregister for hospital appointments online using their electronic personal health information to populate hospital forms in advance.
“At Mason General, we believe delivering the highest quality healthcare depends on our ability to make all relevant information accessible whenever, wherever and however it’s needed,” said Eric Moll, chief administrative officer, Mason General Hospital, Shelton, Wash. “This vision applies not just to physicians in our health system but also to patients, families and the referring physician community. With HealthVault Community Connect, we can extend processes beyond our hospital walls, provide patients and physicians with easy access to important care information, and improve the experience of every participant in the care process, before, during and after treatment.”
Mason General Hospital is a critical access hospital and one of the highest-rated “Most Wired” hospitals in Washington state. For the third consecutive year, Mason General Hospital has received national acclaim for its health information technology, according to the results of the American Hospital Association’s Journal’s “2010 Most Wired Survey.”
Mason General Hospital has implemented a new patient and physician portal using HealthVault Community Connect to better engage patients in their healthcare and to improve patients’ experience with the hospitals and its clinics. Pulling data from the hospital and clinics’ EMR applications, the portal solution gives patients the ability to view their electronic visit summaries. Patients can also send a copy to a personal HealthVault account, where the information can be stored or shared as desired with other healthcare professionals, family members and caregivers.
Patients also can use their personal health information in HealthVault—including medical history, medications, insurance and demographic information—to automatically populate the hospital’s registration forms before the next scheduled visit, potentially saving time and improving the consistency of information entered. The solution is being rolled out initially to over 20,000 emergency room patients at Mason General. Tectura Corp., a Microsoft HealthVault Community Connect Solution Provider, has collaborated on the MyMasonHealth implementation and provides ongoing support.
Brooks Rehabilitation, one of the largest inpatient rehabilitation hospitals in the country, has deployed HealthVault Community Connect to help build stronger connections with its community of more than 2,000 referral sources in Florida and south Georgia, and to help create a coordinated continuum of care as its patients move from one care setting to the next.
“At Brooks, more than 97 percent of our hospital admissions come from referring acute care hospitals, and after being discharged from the ER, a single stroke patient, for example, can be placed in up to four different care settings within the first 60 days of onset,” said Karen Green, chief information officer, Brooks. “We needed a solution that facilitates the continuity of care within and beyond our walls, breaks down silos, and helps Brooks be more patient-centric. HealthVault Community Connect is helping us achieve our goals.”
Brooks Rehabilitation worked with Aspect, a Microsoft HealthVault Community Connect Solution Provider, to launch Brooks Health Connect, a patient and provider portal targeted initially at spinal cord and stroke patients, which is now expanding to focus on the broader Brooks patient population. Using HealthVault Community Connect to share information with patients and the referral community, Brooks Health Connect is designed to help patients with life-changing conditions more easily manage their healthcare over extended periods of time and help avoid readmission to acute care facilities.
Additional early adopters of HealthVault Community Connect include Boston-based Steward Health Care System, which plans to use the solution as part of its accountable care organization (ACO) initiative, and PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash., which is implementing the solution at the St. Joseph Hospital Joint Center, an integrated hospital and community service line dedicated to hip and knee joint replacement. With support from HealthVault Community Connect Solution Provider Parker-Affirma, and PeaceHealth PHR vendor Congral LLC, the Joint Center is implementing a comprehensive preregistration and discharge process selected for a Medicare-sponsored program aimed at proving the value of discharge process best practices that can be replicated throughout the country’s healthcare system.
“We’re excited by the diversity of health organizations adopting HealthVault Community Connect, and the variety of goals they have in using the solution,” said David Cerino, general manager, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “Empowering patients and physicians with information is fundamental to the transformation of healthcare delivery and can yield benefits for any type of provider, from a multisite ACO in a major metropolitan area to a 25-bed rural hospital.”