HIMSS 2013: CIOs Gain More Incentives to Employ Patient Portals

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Bruce Leidal, CIO, Carestream

Bruce Leidal, CIO, Carestream

For CIOs, patient engagement and satisfaction are more important than ever before. CIOs attending HIMSS will be looking for new technology and tools that equip patients to play a greater role in managing both their health records and their care. There has always been a desire to please patients and to encourage loyalty—but now there are both financial and regulatory incentives as well.

The first accountable care organizations (ACOs) are working in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide high-quality care while reducing costs. Successful ACOs will share in the savings to Medicare. Success will be determined by performance on 33 quality measures, which include the patient’s view of his/her quality of care. This reflects an increasing focus on engaging patients and measuring their satisfaction.

Use of patient portals to allow access and sharing of medical records is also part of Stage 2 meaningful use requirements and imaging studies are expected to be added to future stages of meaningful use.

An easy way to enhance patient satisfaction is to implement a patient portal like Carestream’s MyVue, which enables patients to easily and securely view and share their medical images and radiology reports using Web-enabled devices such as the iPad. Empowering patients to share their medical data with specialists or healthcare providers increases satisfaction. It also reduces costs for providers by reducing the need to output imaging information to CDs or DVDs.

At a large public hospital system in Italy, 98 percent of patients embraced an outpatient portal, while an imaging center chain in Houston achieved 50 percent patient engagement without increasing the need for IT support. The portal requires no software downloads for patients or physicians and its viewer allows deployment on Web-enabled devices such as the iPad. The MyVue portal is currently available as an on-site option and will be available as a cloud service—in which Carestream manages remote access, networking requirements and security procedures—by March 2013.

CIOs that deploy patient portals can build loyalty and satisfaction while helping reduce costs and prepare for accountable care organizations and future regulations.

Are you evaluating patient portals at HIMSS? Do you plan to install a patient portal in the next 12 months?


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