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Integrating Patient Experience Information Into Your Workflow

Posted on February 18, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m absolutely intrigued by today’s announcement that Walgreens Pharmacy has integrated PatientsLikeMe data into their pharmacy website. This is the first time PatientsLikeMe has ever integrated their community’s information into a third party website. I think this is a groundbreaking move towards the integration of patient experience information into a wide variety of portals for patients and healthcare providers.

It’s no surprise that a patient facing company like Walgreens is the first to integrate this type of patient generated data. Most healthcare institutions are no doubt leery of patient generated data like this and so they’ll likely be very reticent to integrate this into their systems. However, I think this is a sign of where the integration of patient data is going.

I think the first place we’ll see these type of integrations in healthcare organizations is in the patient portals. I know of many hospitals that have been working to create a kind of PatientsLikeMe experience for their patients. You can see how these efforts could be bolstered by integrating some of the PatientsLikeMe data into their efforts. I’m not sure how much PatientsLikeMe has really opened up their data, but this move tells me that they’re interested in that idea.

So far I’ve only mentioned patient facing integrations. The next step to consider is integrating PatientsLikeMe data into an EHR. Take a look at the image below (click for full size image) to see the PatientsLikeMe integration with Walgreen’s pharmacy website:

It’s not that hard to imagine a similar interface with the PatientsLikeMe data alongside the ePrescribing fields. I’ll leave the discussion of whether this is a valuable integration or not to the doctors. However, PatientsLikeMe is just one example of many that are likely to come. Eventually that data could be genomic data that influences the drug being prescribed. Eventually that data could be “grand rounds” style data that informs a doctor of how his colleagues are prescribing the drug.

As we think through all these data possibilities, it’s easy for me to see that many of these things are not going to be offered by the EHR. So, EHR vendors need to make sure that they get really good at integrating with third party software and data providers. This needs to become a core capability of every EHR vendor.

I’m excited by the possibilities that these types of integrations will bring. What do you think of these integrations? Are they coming? What opportunities are available? Is my vision wrong? Let me know in the comments.

IBM and Epic Prep for Multi Billion Dollar DoD EHR Contract

Posted on January 12, 2015 I Written By

In this recent Nextgov article, they talk about what Team IBM/Epic are doing to prepare for the massive bid:

On Wednesday, IBM and Epic raised the bar in their bidding strategy, announcing the formation of an advisory group of leading experts in large, successful EHR integrations to advise the companies on how to manage the overhaul — if they should win the contract, of course.

The advisory group’s creation was included as part of IBM and Epic’s bid package, according to Andy Maner, managing partner for IBM’s federal practice.

In a press briefing at IBM’s Washington, D.C., offices, Maner emphasized the importance of soliciting advice and insight from the group. Members of the advisory board include health care organizations, such as the American Medical Informatics Association, Duke University Health System and School of Medicine, Mercy Health, Sentara Healthcare and the Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Add this new advisory group to the report that Epic and IBM set up a DoD hardened Epic implementation environment and you can see how seriously they’re taking their bid. Here’s a short quote from that report:

Epic President Carl Dvorak explained the early move will also help test the performance of an Epic system on a data center and network that meets Defense Information Systems Agency guidelines for security. An IBM spokesperson told FCW that testing on the Epic system has been ongoing since November 2014.

As we noted in our last article, 2015’s going to be an exciting year for EHR as this $11+ billion EHR contract gets handed out. What do you think of Team IBM/Epic’s chances?