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Joseph Schneider, VP & CMIO at Baylor Scott & White Health, discusses his organization’s new approach to patient information management.
The purpose of this video is to talk about patients’ exposure to the contents of our medical records which is something that we recently started. We introduced the FollowMyHealth portal that Allscripts offers; it’s a portal that basically is a combination of a personal health record and a patient portal. By that I mean that the patients are viewing, able to view what is in their electronic records that we have. At the end of each visit we send out their problems, allergies, meds, immunizations, and certain documents, and we’re increasing the amount of information that we’re sending out as time goes on.
And the patients, when they see this, in some types of portals, they can’t do anything about that except write a message back to the doctor that something’s wrong, or we disagree with something, or that they stopped taking medicine or something like that. In our case, in the case of FollowMyHealth, the patient actually has the ability to delete that medicine, or problem, or allergy from their personal health record/portal. If that patient has identified to us that they want to be followed in one of our medical homes, a message that point comes back to us. That alerts that the patient has made a change in their EHR portal.
What have been the results of this new approach to patient information management?
It’s creating some interesting dynamics that we’re just beginning to explore how to handle. First, the patients are very appreciative of the ability to see their data, and actually extremely happy to be able to, in essence, control their data. Because that’s the control that they used to have before things started to go electronic.
And so, there’s a couple of things that are starting to happen. One is, we’re discovering that the patients, when they receive problems, such as, just as an example, morbid obesity, they are deleting that problem from their list. Now of course that doesn’t make them any less morbidly obese, but it is alerting, it provides feedback to the clinicians. And right now our messages are coming back through care coordinators, and they get the messages to the clinicians, but eventually this will be set up so that it goes directly back to the medical home, and a care coordinator there would handle the messages.
So when patients send back information like that, that gives us a clue as to how they perceive that problem, a clue that perhaps we didn’t have before. The other thing is that, if they delete medications, then we have an indication that they may not be taking them, that sort of communication actually in some cases will trigger a call from the care coordinator to the patient to understand what’s going on, whether there was a problem with taking the medication, whether they didn’t get it filled, etc.
What other advantages have you found in using this new system?
And of course the other thing this allows us to do is, if the patient is visiting somewhere and say that site is not connected to FollowMyHealth, the patient comes back, say they were diagnosed with diabetes while they were traveling, it’s a possibility. They could put that in their record, that sends a message to the care coordinator, and that sort of message would trigger an immediate call to the patient to get them in to be seen, as opposed to waiting for the patient to set that up. It helps from a care management standpoint quite a bit. It provides us with another pathway of communication with the patient, and it opens up that communication to potentially a deeper level in terms of what is the patient thinking.
It has many, many benefits, but as with all things good and new there are many challenges. We’re learning to go through them. I would welcome any one of you who see this video who are going through similar challenges, I’m happy to chat with you about how we’ve tackled some of these problems and certainly willing to share experiences.