A Platform for Healthcare Self-Service

June 24, 2013
In a HIMSS seminar, Miami Children’s Hospital CIO Edward Martinez describes automating patient engagement processes to create a holistic experience from pre-visit to follow-up, with a new emphasis on mobile apps.

In Monday’s HIMSS keynote address, Warner Thomas, CEO of eight-hospital Ochsner Health System, asked rhetorically why healthcare can’t be more like other industries in terms of intelligently using data to proactively solve problems for customers. Not two hours later, I saw a presentation that seemed a direct response.

Edward Martinez, senior vice president and CIO for Miami Children’s Hospital, described how his organization has begun deploying the PatientPoint’s HealthSync Care Coordination Platform. “Patients are customers and they have to be engaged,” he said.

Miami Children’s is automating patient engagement processes, and creating a holistic experience from pre-visit to follow-up with a new emphasis on mobile apps. The biggest change is after discharge. The system adds a  “gaps in care” follow-up that includes wellness education and disease management. “We are using technology to make that follow-up affordable and manageable,” he said.

Data is often latent and in silos, and manual and inefficient processes can overburden the clinical staff. Martinez described the care coordination platform as a front end that sees data from the EHR and registries, but also from practice management systems, payers, and pharmacy benefit management systems. The system is smart enough to find gaps in care, such as a child who has not had an immunization, and it can automatically send out a notice to a patient or guardian, asking them if they wish to schedule an appointment. And the patients can make their own appointment online.

Like those in other industries, Miami Children’s Hospital is moving its customers to a self-service model, with a paperless workflow. Check-in and charge capture can be done on an iPad or mobile phone. “It is a platform for healthcare self-service,” he said.

Martinez said the technology aspect of introducing the platform was fairly straightforward. It took the hospital less than 35 days to initially deploy. “But the technology is not the hard part,” he said. “Changing behavior is hard. We’re still working on that.”

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