Cloud services to put health IT in hands of doctors and improve primary care
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 18, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In a move that will accelerate the delivery of smarter healthcare throughout Puerto Rico, IBM (NYSE: IBM), ActiveHealth Management and Medens Corporation today announced an agreement to deliver cloud services that will help physicians share and exchange actionable health information in order to make more accurate decisions about patient care.
In Puerto Rico today, less than six percent of physicians use health information technology, and the territory lags behind the rest of the nation in access to patient information, the use of electronic medical records, and the ability to share and analyze health data to improve the health of Puerto Rico's nearly four million citizens.
As a result of the new agreement, Medens Corp. will provide the cloud-based IBM and ActiveHealth Management solution for collaborative care with the cloud-based SOAPware EMR+Practice Management System as the foundation of its own offering called the Medens Cloud. The Medens Cloud provides a suite of services that allows doctors to easily manage all their medical and financial data for a more productive, efficient practice. It also facilitates better exchange of patient information and delivers intelligent clinical decision support to improve patient care. Medens will make this available throughout Puerto Rico to the island's 11,000 physicians.
"The Medens Cloud will not only provide the physicians and patients of Puerto Rico access to important new health information technology, but also the tools to redesign the way they deliver care to support emerging accountable care and patient-centered medical home models," said Orlando Fiallo, president, Medens Corporation. "This is the type of care that will truly transform our healthcare system in Puerto Rico and allow physicians to be reimbursed based on the quality of care, not simply the number of procedures performed."
The solution for collaborative care works by gathering patient health data from multiple sources to create a detailed patient record. It then runs that data through the ActiveHealth CareEngine® and delivers clinical decision support that provides physicians with information to improve patient care. With all healthcare data and IT resources managed in a secure cloud environment, the system will enable the coordination of patient care among teams so doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, aides, therapists and pharmacists can more easily access, share and address information about patients from a single source. The solution enables patients to keep and view a secure personal health record, communicate with their provider in a secure Web-based portal and via e-mail, as well as stay up to date on their medical history and current medications.
"This partnership enables physicians in Puerto Rico to employ a model of care that helps patients and their care teams to work together to improve health care outcomes," said Gregory Steinberg, M.D., president and CEO of ActiveHealth Management.
The medical home and accountable care models focus on changing how healthcare providers are reimbursed for their services by encouraging collaboration among the patient and their caregivers, and helping patients maintain good health and control chronic illnesses like diabetes and asthma.
For one fixed monthly fee, doctors in Puerto Rico will have access to all the healthcare information technology and services without having to make significant upfront solution investments – avoiding the challenge and cost of updating systems when clinical guidelines or reporting requirements change or when patient loads grow. The Medens Cloud system may allow physicians to qualify for stimulus funds for the adoption and meaningful use of electronic medical records by incorporating the certified SOAPware EMR and practice management software to allow the practice to track charts, charges, payments and adjustments and see the financial status of patient accounts.
"Improving patient care starts with creating a more connected health system and making it easier for caregivers to coordinate around their patients' needs," said Robert Merkel, vice president and healthcare industry leader, IBM Global Business Services. "There is real opportunity to create smarter, more efficient healthcare throughout Puerto Rico and the work underway there is a model for the rest of the nation."
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About ActiveHealth Management
ActiveHealth Management is a leading provider of health management services, including disease management, clinical decision support and personal health records. The company's solutions, all based on its patented CareEngine® System, help individuals receive quality care and help organizations like health plans, employers, providers and health systems and government payers reduce medical costs. More than 19 million people nationwide benefit from ActiveHealth programs. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in New York City, ActiveHealth is an independent subsidiary of Aetna (NYSE: AET). For more information, please visit http://www.activehealth.net.
Medens suite of services allows the doctor to lead a care team of qualified support professionals with greater effectiveness and productivity. Through fast and complete access to clinical information, a monitoring system that gives doctors leadership in the management of all the support staff and healthcare services, and the processing of the transactional nature of a patient encounter, medical professionals can focus their time on serving their patients. www.medenscloud.com.
Holli Haswell, IBM