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.
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.
GetWellNetwork's interactive patient care offering GetWell Town provides entertainment, education, and clinical-care tools that are geared to the special needs of young patients and their families. GetWell Town allows staff to order kid-friendly education videos, available through an exclusive partnership with KidsHealth, that specifically cover a child's condition. On-demand features allow families to review educational videos at any time, find critical medication information, and even view profiles of their caregivers, helping to build a more personal connection with them. GetWell Town facilitates patient engagement.
Dossia, a consortium of large employers including WalMart and Intel, provides workers at member companies with access to a personal e-health record--the Dossia Health Management System.
Dossia's PHR system has a Web-based infrastructure that aggregates users' personal health information from a variety of sources, including pharmacies, labs, and medical practices, and makes that information actionable with personalized health management tools that enable users to take better control over their health and care.
Among Dossia's tools is an embedded medical terminology translation engine that helps patients better understand confusing terms and content that can appear in their medical records and reports. That patient education capability is provided to Dossia by Health Language, a company that provides a Language Engine that automatically translates clinical diagnosis and procedure descriptions into easily understood, consumer-friendly terms.
Swarm Interactive's Web-based ViewMedica patient education system helps doctor practices inform their patients and potential patients about their medical services. ViewMedica's library includes 800 animations covering the most common procedures and conditions in orthopedics, neurological care, cardiovascular surgery, ENT, pain management, ophthalmology, complementary medicine, and more.
The ViewMedica content aims to provide clear visuals and concise narration to convey complex information quickly to patients. Each animation also comes with a printable full-color brochure that includes practice contact information to help with referrals. ViewMedica also can be viewed on iPads, iPhones, and other tablet and smartphone devices.
Swarm Interactive says ViewMedica can be added to any practice's website in minutes. A browser-based administration area allows medical practices to customize their ViewMedica viewer and manage its content. ViewMedica's color scheme and other settings can be adjusted to better match a site's design and a practice's needs. Practices can select only the animations they want available to their patients.
Digital-Eyes, from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, provides ophthalmic animations designed for ophthalmologists to use on their websites and during their chair-side patient education consultations. The animation provides doctors with a dynamic way to engage with patients regarding eye health. For instance, the animations can help eye doctors show cataract patients how their vision problems can be corrected with surgery.
The downloadable audio-visual collection has more than 70 3-D animations of eye anatomy, common eye conditions and treatment options. All presentations are offered in English and Spanish.
Besides cataracts, other Digital-Eyes animation topics include: diabetic retinopathy, dry eye, eyelid problems, floaters and flashes, glaucoma, how the eye works, how to insert eyedrops, LASIK, and refractive procedures.
Zygote Media Group's 3D Human Anatomy tools can be used in many different ways, from software products to feature films. Zygote's high resolution 3-D models have also been used in the development of medical devices, applications, and medical illustrations. Zygote's specially optimized data also allows educational products to be developed for mobile devices and online applications, and have been used in Google Body.
Targeted Therapy Finder--Melanoma is a free, Web-based decision-support app that helps cancer patients learn about their skin cancer and oncologists identify the best tests, treatments, and clinical trials for the type of melanoma the person has.
The app was created through collaboration between software services firm CollabRX and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and runs on mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads. It asks doctors and patients a set of questions and then helps them narrow down the promising treatments and clinical trials associated with the patient's specific subtypes of melanoma and other characteristics.