Health 2.0

Can we get physicians to use modular apps?

Health 2.0 is best known for (and started with) consumers using online tools, search, communities and other services. But over the last year or two we’ve seen more and more SaaS-based and modular tools developed aimed at physicians and their offices. At the same time of course the Feds have promised (but not quite started yet) to lay out up to $36 billion to put EMRs into doctors’ offices.

The problem is that most physicians practice as independent small businesses, and almost all the progress in mainstream EMR adoption has been in larger enterprises–particularly the VA using Vista and many larger provider systems (e.g. Kaiser) using Epic and a few other larger client-server based systems. But smaller businesses outside of health care are using a whole range of SaaS-based services to run their operations. For example, at Health 2.0 we use Highrise for customer tracking, Google Docs for records, Gmail for sharing information, Skype for communication, Surveymonkey for attendee surveys, Mailchimp for marketing emails, and several others.

Can physician offices use a parallel set of modular applications to run their various business and clinical processes? I believe that they can and will. But the problem is how to get the message out? So I was pretty interested to find that Sanofi Aventis is trying to reach physicians about these issues via a site called iPractice. They asked (and commissioned) me to write something about the topic. So I’ve described seven modular Health 2.0 tools for physicians. You can read my article here

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Categories: Health 2.0, Matthew Holt, Physicians

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4 replies »

  1. “These are exciting times in HIT and collaboration on the development of modular HIT apps is accelerating rapidly.”
    When these apps actually help doctors provide safe and efficient medical care, there may be some adoption. These are devices looking for a use. I find the care by doctors who use these things to be inferior and insufficient. Best advice: DO NOT USE

  2. A friend of my does some independent IT work for some doctor’s offices in my area. In speaking with him, he has told me that more and more are looking to add emerging technology like you stated in your post. In one office, he has been charged to have the office run via Ipad. I can see the positives and the negatives of this, but ultimately, if the use of these types of things decreases costs and increases productivity, who could be against it?

  3. Matthew,
    Your post is both timely and very relevant. These are exciting times in HIT and collaboration on the development of modular HIT apps is accelerating rapidly.
    The Clinical Groupware Collaborative (CGC) is a relatively new organization, formed in 2009, consisting of members with a shared desire to see growth in the acquisition and use of affordable, easy-to-use, and interoperable EHR technology, especially among the very large group of “non-consumers” who have found legacy EMRs cumbersome, expensive, and technically challenging to use.
    Clinical groupware is a new and evolving model for the development and deployment of health information technology (HIT) platforms and applications having the following characteristics:
    • Use of the Internet and the Web for EHR technology.
    • Explicit design for information sharing and online communication among providers and patients/consumers.
    • A modular or component architecture upon which applications can be aggregated to meet specific clinical and workflow tasks.
    • Patient/consumer engagement tools that facilitate ongoing health management and care coordination.
    • Interface and data exchange standards for information sharing that emerge in a market-driven manner.
    Clinical groupware applications can be distributed as software or as software-as-a-service, can be installable or downloadable applications, and/or can run in a browser, and are intended to support today’s dynamic health care environment by supplying the right information, at the right time and the right place.
    Advocates of the clinical groupware approach are not limited to software developers and technologists, but also include practicing physicians, executives and managers from health care provider organizations and care management companies, patients, consumer and patient advocates, and leaders in HIT, life sciences, home monitoring, and medical device manufacturing firms.
    CGC members have been working on various aspects of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) Direct project, now called the Direct project, which is a project to create the set of standards and services that, with a policy framework, enable simple, directed, routed, scalable transport over the Internet to be used for secure and meaningful exchange between known participants in support of meaningful use.
    Medical Professional Services (MPS), a network of over 400 physicians in CT of which I am the CEO, is working with a number of other firms and organizations to bring up an NHIN Direct pilot in CT by early 2011. Participants in this pilot include MPS and its physicians, technology firms (Quest/MedPlus, DocSite/Covisint, eClinicalWorks), a hospital (Middlesex), an FQHC (Community Health Centers, Inc. with 12 sites in CT), the AAFP and the Kibbe Group. MPS and its partner LibertasMD are also signing up lots of priority primary care providers (>60 in the last 2 weeks alone) to be customers of the CT Regional Extension Center to receive assistance to select, implement and get to meaningful use of HIT.
    The development of modular HIT applications offers the hope of a viable and less costly alternative to the expensive, monolithic HIT solutions which have so far not shown substantial value and an ROI for many physicians, especially those who are in small practices and who are seeing their revenue cut by Medicare and many commercial payers.

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