It’s been awhile since my last blog post. Summer does that. Particularly if there’s a winning combination of sun, beach, family, fresh corn (I heart Cape Cod). You get my drift. The right factors combine, giving you a great experience.
The same thing goes for digital tools. We intuitively know what’s needed. Easy login. Nice interface. Valuable functionality. Bringing the right information at your fingertips when you need it.
Making an application easy to use and beneficial doesn’t sound so hard, right? Yet why does it take so long for health care to figure this out?
I was asked to give a webinar on the topic of Patient Portals for Maine’s HealthInfoNet last week. I focused on the combination of features that bring the most value – in other words, what people need (based on what they use) and how positive change can happen – based on evidence and experience. We have a rapidly expanding literature about this information, and this data needs bright lights shining on it, firing it up.
I did a back of the envelope summary of some evidence. Not a systematic or exhaustive synthesis, but my cumulative view of a continuously expanding bibliography of relevant papers and presentations.
Co-presenters included Steve Bien, a physician at Wilson Stream Family Practice, the first independent practice to use Maine’s health information exchange. As an early adopter, Steve touted the use of secure email, remarking that online communication not only meets patient needs but reduces workload and offers efficiency. Nice to hear that from a small practice.
Adding the patient voice to the panel was Ann Sullivan, advocate and HealthInfoNet Board member. She provided insightful, day-to-day experience of how eHealth tools add value by fitting into the patient workflow (life!) through convenience, access and helping with self-care.
Thanks to Gemma Cannon, Service Coordinator for Maine’s Regional Extension Center, for convening the group to focus on patient meaningful use!
Slides from the @hinfonet webinar are available from HealthInfoNet and on slideshare.