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11/16/2011
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7 Health Education Tools For Patients

Patients can benefit by getting a variety of healthcare information electronically--as these seven options prove. The tools also help healthcare organizations comply with the HITECH Act Meaningful Use requirements.
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When patients are diagnosed with a medical condition, need surgery, are hospitalized, or are about to be discharged, having care instructions and other information available electronically can put them on the right track. But patient education materials also serve another purpose: They help healthcare organizations comply with HITECH Act Meaningful Use requirements. One approach is offered by Healthwise, a non-profit company that offers products and services to hospitals and health plans that help people make better health decisions. The company's offerings include an e-medical record module and robust patient instructions.

The Healthwise EMR Module uses data from a patient's electronic medical record to provide clinicians with enough patient instructions for a specific episode of care. However, the more expansive Healthwise Ix Patient Instructions helps patients learn how to care for their condition--whether it's asthma or any of a number of diagnoses--on an ongoing basis, including what to do at home and when to call for medical help.

Ix Patient Instructions are built for standards-based integration into an organization's EMR system, making delivery of patient education a regular, seamless part of clinicians' normal workflow. That reduces the need to search through computer files or file cabinets for patient pamphlets. Clinicians can prescribe Ix Patient Instructions as printed handouts, send them by email, or post them to the patient's personal e-health record.

Healthwise's patient instructions include Go-to-Web codes, each directly mapped to specific topics in the Healthwise Knowledgebase. Patients and their families can read the patient instructions, and then use the Go-to-Web codes to enter an online world of other health content and interactive tools.

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