Harvard's Connected Health Docs Service Fortune 500 Clients - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

11:44 AM

Harvard's Connected Health Docs Service Fortune 500 Clients

Partners Healthcare specialists will work with CHS Healthcare Services, a large onsite clinic operator, to provide telemedicine services to its corporate clients.

Telemedicine Tools That Are Transforming Healthcare
Telemedicine Tools That Are Transforming Healthcare
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
The Boston-based Center for Connected Health, a unit of Harvard-affiliated Partners Healthcare, has teamed up with CHS Health Services,which touts itself as the biggest provider of onsite healthcare, to offer telemedicine services to CHS' corporate clients.

CHS will initially market Partners' Online Specialty Consultation Services to its Fortune 500 customers across the country. Employees of companies that buy the service will be able to get second opinions from the 4,000 specialists who work at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women's Hospital, Partners' flagship institutions in Boston.

CHS expects that this service will attract corporations that have employees in remote office locations who don't have access to a worksite clinic.

Employees who use Partners' 10-year-old online consulting service must request consultations through local physicians, said Joseph Kvedar, MD, president of the Center for Connected Medicine, in an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare. The main purpose is to ensure that patients receive better care, he said. But they can also receive specialty consultations by having doctors at worksite clinics ping the Partners consultants.

[ For more background on e-prescribing tools, see 6 E-Prescribing Vendors To Watch. ]

Kvedar expects that CHS customers will initially choose the second-opinion service over more extensive telemedicine consults that involve videoconferencing. So at the start, CHS will offer video hookups between worksite clinics and Partners' specialists only to employers in Massachusetts, where the healthcare organization is licensed to provide remote consultations. But according to Kvedar, if there is demand for this service in other states, Partners could obtain the necessary licenses.

"Videoconferencing is a good tool for when you want to simulate an office session," he pointed out. In addition, he noted, "It would be easy for employers to see the value of using videoconferencing, because it's all about productivity. They want employees to get the care they need quickly so they can return to work."

Eventually, Kvedar said, Partners would like their specialists to go online with worksite clinics, with clinic doctors perhaps sending patient data from their electronic health records to Partners' EHR in the form of a Continuity of Care Document (CCD). But at the outset, he said, patient data is likely to be faxed to the specialists.

Partners has a lot of competition in the online consulting space. Established firms like American Well and TelaDoc already offer online consultations with physicians, and UnitedHealth Group recently launched Now Clinic, which also provides the service. The Cleveland Clinic also has an online "second-opinion" service called MyConsult.

The use of telemedicine in worksite clinics has a precedent as well: Cisco has piloted remote consultations in its own worksite clinics, using its HealthPresence system. And late last year, Cisco partnered with Walgreens to market the system to other large corporations with onsite clinics. Walgreens' Take Care Health Systems claims to be the largest operator of worksite and retail clinics in the U.S.

Kvedar said that under its deal with CHS, the Center for Connected Medicine (CCH) will advise the firm on its future directions in telemedicine. Asked about the possibility of home monitoring, in which CCH has considerable expertise, Kvedar responded that it's a "leap" to home monitoring from providing basic primary care in the workplace. However, he also acknowledged that many employees of big companies have expensive chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.

In this InformationWeek Healthcare virtual event, EHRs: Beyond The Basics, experts will discuss how to improve electronic health record systems. It happens July 31.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

New Storage Trends Promise to Help Enterprises Handle a Data Avalanche
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  4/1/2021
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
How to Submit a Column to InformationWeek
InformationWeek Staff 4/9/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Flash Poll