Friday, November 24, 2006

What Works -- Part 1 -- PatientSite

The first in a series of innovations that work (!) and make a difference in patients' lives:

A recent story on MSNBC called "Tired of waiting for the doctor?" made reference to PatientSite, our user-friendly, personalized electronic communications link between patients and their doctors, using a secure website:

Most patients have experienced playing phone-tag to get test results. That’s at least partly because of the traditional paper-based method of relaying information. Test results are transcribed onto paper, then given to the doctor, who then phones or snail-mails them to patients.

At Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, patients can get test results electronically the same time as the doctor through a private online account called PatientSite. “There is no waiting for paper printouts to arrive by mail,” said Dr. John Halamka. All test results show up on the site, except those involving diagnosing cancer or HIV, “assuming that this news should be delivered in person,” he said.

PatientSite has been up and running for many years, well ahead of most of the industry. Patients like the fact that they can use it for a variety of routine functions -- from requesting prescription renewals, to making appointments and getting referrals, to viewing their own electronic medical records, including medications, allergies and test results, radiology reports and electrocardiograms. Doctors like it, too, because it frees them up to spend person-to-person time with patients on more important matters.

The long-term success of PatientSite also means that it can be used to study other new ways to improve care. Here is an example funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Try out the demo!


Anonymous said...

Very nice site! I'm curious, how is this promoted to your patients?

Anonymous said...

Simple, their doctors tell them about it.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a light that's hidden under a bushel. I know the Web isn't for everyone, but for Web users, this is a good system.

Interacting with most health care offices is stone-age in comparison. I mean, okay, I like the personal touch of getting a human reminder call from my dentist's office, but it's got to be costly for the provider and it's error-prone. It's at least as nice to have a reminder email from PatientSite.

I can go online and check appointment details 24/7, the same as I can do with an airline or hotel reservation. But with my previous provider it was "Please call back doo-ring nawmal business owas."

Another GREAT thing (in this age of privacy concerns) is that it lets me exchange confidential messages with my physician (within the system), so I don't have to worry about the "email eavesdropping" that supposedly happens when you send a regular email.

The system's not perfect - for instance I can't change an appointment online. (I guess there are many variables to consider when doing that, so it's not yet ripe for automation.) But when I go to make an appointment, I can browse through my doctor's available slots, and compare the openings against my own calendar.

So I think it's appropriate that the system was mentioned on an NBC News segment titled "What Works." (Actually I was pleased enough that I hollered to my wife "Hey look!" :-))

Anonymous said...

Nice...but I couldn't find my surgeon, oncologist, or pulmonologist!!!