eClinicalWorks is launching s a new patient engagement initiative aimed to improve communication channels between patients and healthcare providers. With 8 million consumers using the company’s electronic patient portal, eClinicalWorks is investing an additional $25 million over the next 12 months to further enhance and expand patient engagement tools under the business unit Health & Online Wellness (healow™). The first product of this initiative, a free mobile app for patients, will be available for iOS and Android later this month. In contrast to most mobile health applications available today, healow directly connects patients to their own and family electronic health records, allowing immediate access to personal medical records and facilitating two-way communications between providers and patients.
According to a January 2013 survey1 of healthcare providers conducted by eClinicalWorks, 93 percent of physicians find value in having a mobile health app connected to EHRs. The same survey found that 93 percent of physician respondents believe that mobile health apps can improve a patient’s health outcome, and 89 percent are likely to recommend a mobile health app to a patient.
“InterMed provides multi-disciplinary medical services and is committed to maintaining an open dialogue with our patients,” said Dr. Scott Patch at InterMed. “Enhancing communication, we have been using eClinicalWorks Patient Portal to offer patients fast access to lab results, problem and medication lists, direct message doctors, as well as send appointment and refill requests. This has allowed our organization to cut down on mailings and other administrative tasks in order to focus more on delivering healthcare. We look forward to building on this by engaging with our patients via mobile apps.”
Advancing patient engagement can improve health outcomes and lay a foundation for many care coordination efforts, including Meaningful Use, Patient-centered Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The healow app is meant to improve patient engagement by making communications with their health provider easier and streamlining access to their medical record. In addition to connecting patients directly to their electronic health records, healow enables patients to manage their medical records/summary and those of family members, send messages to their provider, request medication refills and view lab results. The healow platform also allows providers to create compliance and wellness campaigns to further engage patients and build on the five million plus messages going out monthly through text, voice and e-mail.
“In order to transform healthcare, patients need to be engaged,” said Girish Kumar Navani, CEO and co-founder of eClinicalWorks. “People are invested in and want to be engaged in their health as long as they trust the source of the information. We are confident the tools delivered through Healow will be successful due to the foundation we have built with more than 220,000 medical providers and because its solutions bring together cutting-edge technology and a critical component – the medical provider.”
“We care for our patients as part of their family and broader community,” said Dr. Salvatore Volpe, FAAP FACP CHCQM, whose Staten Island, N.Y., practice was the first solo practice in the United States to receive Patient Centered Medical Home 2011 Level 3 status. “By engaging patients in their care, they can make better and more informed decisions about their health. The eClinicalWorks Patient Portal has had tremendous response from our community and the company is taking a great step by extending this collaboration further to mobile patient health solutions. This expansion into patient engagement will also help our practice attest for the new Meaningful Use 2 standards when they go into effect.”
The eClinicalWorks’ survey also found:
- The top benefits for having a mobile health app feed data back into a patient’s electronic health record physicians cited 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.
- And the top three health issues where a mobile health application linked to an EHR could make an impact:
- Nearly two thirds said medication adherence is a top health issue in which a mobile health app linked to EHR could make an immediate impact; and
- More than half said diabetes (54%) and preventative care (52%).
The patient mobile app will be available free later this month for iOS and Android at www.healow.com.