NaviNet Admin on December 14, 2011

It's All About Relationships

Working at NaviNet, a patient-centric healthcare IT company, I couldn’t resist heading up Route 128 to attend the Mass Technology Leadership Council’s breakfast seminar, “How Technology is Enabling Dynamic Community Care Teams.” Fragmented care is a leading reason that U.S. healthcare costs are so high. As well, it increases risks to patient safety. More than 50 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, for instance, have five or more chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, or kidney disease. Often, these patients are cared for by multiple physicians at various facilities. The resulting uncoordinated treatment can lead to redundant care, superfluous testing, increased exposure to medical error, and unnecessary costs.

So I found myself in Waltham on November 21, immediately glad I had made the trip when Rick Siegrist, CIO of Press Ganney began the keynote address. Rick’s lens on integrated care focused on the patient point of view – providers involving the families and caregivers and making sure that all parties are participating in the treatment plan for the best outcome. We know that providers hold the key to influencing real patient health improvements, especially at the point of care.

This keynote was a perfect segue to Betsy Weaver, Founder and CEO/President of UbiCare|TPR Media. We live the reality of regulations and how to provide the best care within regulatory and payment frameworks. UbiCare focuses on connected care – how we connect with each other and use what we have. A one-stop solution for patient education information and communication to support electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use and patient centered medical home (PCMH) initiatives, UbiCare brings together social media and analytics to help patients better understand clinical and other health-related issues in a user-friendly modular format.

Now, imagine a company that says, “What is important to the patient?” and works back from that answer to make that wish become a reality through collaborative care, whether the goal be traveling to a family reunion or simply going to the grocery store. Benjamin Bielak, CIO, Dovetail Health, said that by developing an emotional connection and relationships among the patient, the provider, the health plans, the caregivers, and family members, he believes that Dovetail Health helps keep high-risk patients out of the hospital through personalized medical, health, and lifestyle support.

Partners Healthcare at Home, a certified home agency, offers many in-home care services, as well as nurses, therapists, home health aides, and other professionals who closely collaborate with each other and with patients and their families to make sure that each patient gets the right kind of care at the right time. Kathy Duckett, Director of Clinical Programs, described a promising telehealth program featuring remote monitoring.

Senior Whole Health’s mission is to enable seniors to have quality of life, whether at home, in assisted living, a nursing home, or somewhere else. According to Marie Maloney, CIO, Senior Whole Health integrates all Medicare, Medicaid, and Medicare Part D Pharmacy benefits into one comprehensive plan that is easy to use and easy to understand. This health care plan is dedicated to ensuring that low-income seniors have choices in services and promoting independence. Many of the company’s patients are not Internet-savvy, so again, the relationship is the critical factor in patient and family engagement.

Do you have a favorite patient-centric company that is doing innovative things? A good story to tell? We look forward to hearing from you. Continue the discussion by commenting on our blog, and connecting with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Laura McCaughey

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NaviNet, part of NantHealth, is America’s largest interactive healthcare network. Our flagship multi-payer provider website is built on deep payer integration and the innovative use of technology to deliver real bottom-line value for both payers and providers.