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Want to improve patient engagement? Start with the basics

mHealthNews, February 9, 2015

BEI Commentary: If you have not gone electronic with your patient registration process, here is further proof that you should.

Want to jump on the mHealth bandwagon? Start with the basics.

That’s the advice of Janie Tremlett, vice president of domestic and international business development for Vecna. And she’s not talking about that first phone call between doctor and patient. She’s talking about the registration process – that time-honored and laborious process of filling out forms and answering questionnaires before the patient even gets to see a doctor.

If a patient were to fill out all those forms online – either at home or on a tablet or kiosk in the waiting room – the registration process would be quicker, the information would be more accurate, the patient would be happier and office staff time would be used on more important duties, like interacting with the patient. Read More


Local doctor finds advanced technology useful when interacting with patients

NV Daily, 3/16/14

BEI Commentary: Even with EHRs, the doctor-patient relationship remains very important, as noted by this local physician

With the recent push toward electronic medical records, a local doctor has conducted a study to find out how the patients themselves feel about the updated technology. He found that it all goes back to the relationship.

Dr. Bill Kerns of Front Royal Family Practice led a research team of physicians, looking into how patients want to engage with their electronic records.

Kerns found that the technology can be useful — so long as it enhances the relationship between physician and patient. Read More



Study: Patient Portal Use To Shoot Up 221 Percent

EMR & EHR, October 9, 2013

BEI Commentary: As would be expected, patient portal usage should increase significantly in the near future

The US patient portal market should grow at a blazing clip over the next few years, according to a new report by research firm Frost & Sullivan.
The new study, U.S. Patient Portal Market for Hospitals and Physicians: Overview and Outlook, 2012- 2017, concludes that the total US patient portal market for hospitals and physicians generated revenue of just $279.8 million in 2012. By 2017, however, the US patient portal market should reach $898.4 million, representing a 221.1 percent increase in revenue generated. Read More…

CMS awards contract to implement text4baby in four states

Fierce Mobile Healthcare, October 7, 2013

BEI Commentary: We are just starting to scratch the surface of electronic provider – patient communications.  Here is a good example of how text messaging can be put to use.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has awarded a three-year contract to support the implementation of text4baby, the nation’s largest and only free mobile health service for expecting and new moms, in four still-to-be-determined states.

According to the announcement, CMS is currently working with text4baby founding partners Voxiva and the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition to determine the target states for this pilot project. Read more

When it Comes to Patient Engagement in Florida, Parrish Medical Center Shines Bright

Healthcare Informatics, July 23, 2013

BEI Commentary: Payment Patient Portals are becoming ever more important ways of communicating, and they are required for stage 2.  Reach the second half of this article to see how Parrish Medical Center is rated #1 in this area.

It seems that while everyone in healthcare is talking about patient engagement, many are struggling to come up with strategies to achieve it. 

Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use electronic health records (EHR) incentive program requires 5 percent of patients to log into and upload data via a portal or personal health record for providers to earn incentive payments from the program. And last year, the National eHealth Collaborative and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) created the Patient Engagement Framework, which was vetted by over 150 healthcare stakeholders, and is meant to help providers understand how to start and continuously improve a patient engagement initiative.  According to the lead authors of the framework, a properly implemented patient engagement strategy should transform the way a health system delivers care. Read More

Email vs Text for Healthcare Communication


BEI Commentary: The jury is out on email versus text, but it is important to think about what communications method is best to interact with patients.  While we are not there from a HIPAA compliance standpoint, it is helpful to think about this now.

The idea of improving communication in healthcare is always a hot one. For fear of HIPAA and other factors, healthcare seems to lag behind when adopting the latest communication technologies. The most simple examples are email and text message. Both are simple and widely adopted communication technologies and most in healthcare are afraid to use them.

At the core of why people are afraid is because native email is not HIPAA secure and native SMS is not HIPAA secure either. Although, there are a whole suite of communication products that are working to solve the healthcare communication security challenges while still keeping the simplicity of an email or text message. In fact, both of the other companies I’ve started or advise, Physia and docBeat, are focused on the problems of secure email and secure text. Plus, there are dozens of other companies working to improve healthcare communication and hundreds of EMR, PHR, and HIE applications that are integrating these forms of communication into their systems. Read More

Most U.S. Doctors Believe Patients Should Update Electronic Health Record, but Not Have Full Access to It

Accenture Newsroom, March 4, 2013

BEI Commentary: A key to reforming healthcare is patient engagement and patient access to their own medical records.  But there is a question of how much access a patient should have.  Accenture published a survey that show the current state of physician opinions.  What do you think?

A new Accenture (NYSE:ACN) survey shows that most U.S. doctors surveyed (82 percent) want patients to actively participate in their own healthcare by updating their electronic health records. However, only a third of physicians (31 percent) believe a patient should have full access to his or her own record, 65 percent believe patients should have limited access and 4 percent say they should have no access (See figure 1). These findings were consistent among 3,700 doctors surveyed by Accenture in eight countries: Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States. Read More

Can Patients Handle the Truth? Getting Access to Doctors’ Notes

TIME Healthland, December 20, 2011

BEI Commentary: Open Notes is something that everyone should think about.  Our feeling is that over time, it will evolve to be the norm.  However, there may be some modifications to the way notes are viewed and interpreted before this becomes maintstream.

The last time you were at the doctor’s office, and your physician scribbled or typed something into your chart, did you wonder what it said? If so, you’re in the majority: according to a new survey, more than 90% of patients said they would want to know.

Not surprisingly, most doctors were less than willing to share. In the OpenNotes trial, conducted at three primary care practices in Boston, Seattle and rural Pennsylvania, 254 physicians were asked whether they would be willing to make their office visit notes freely available to patients in their electronic health records for one year: 114 agreed, and 140 declined. Read More

Growth in consumer EHR access signals shift in patient engagement, October 13, 2011 

BEI Commentary: Consumer interest in accessing their medical information on EHRs is increasing as expected.

Results of a new study from Manhattan Research reveal that an estimated 56 million U.S. consumers have accessed their medical information on an EHR system maintained by their physician. An additional 41 million consumers are interested in accessing such information, according to the pharmaceutical and healthcare market research company’s Cybercitizen Health U.S. 2011 study of consumer digital health trends.

The findings come from an online and phone survey of 8,745 U.S. adults (age 18 and over) conducted during the third quarter of 2011.
Additionally, the company’s Taking the Pulse study of U.S. physicians concludes that EHR adoption is rising among doctors, and “will likely accelerate as iPads and other tablets facilitate EHR access for doctors on the move throughout the workday.” Read More

HHS: More Than 430K Vets Using ‘Blue Button’ To Access Health Data

iHealthBeat, October 11, 2011

BEI Commentary: Patients are interested in accessing and downloading their medical records.  Here is another indication of that with the number of users greatly exceeding initial expections.

On Tuesday, HHS Chief Technology Officer Todd Park announced that more than 430,000 veterans have downloaded their health care claims data via the Department of Veterans Affairs’ “Blue Button” initiative since it launched late last year, Modern Healthcare reports.

Park announced the figure during the FedTalks 2011 conference in Washington, D.C. (Daly, Modern Healthcare, 10/11).

About the Blue Button Tool

The Blue Button system is a tool for veterans to download, store or print medical information. From the MyHealtheVet site, veterans can use the Blue Button tool to download:

  • Demographic information;
  • Emergency contacts;
  • Lists of prescription medication; and
  • Wellness reminders. Read More


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