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    Five ways technology can increase patient compliance

     

    Patient portals

    OsterbergOsterbergPatient portals engage patients and increase record portability. They allow patients to see health information in a streamlined fashion, through a secure website. “This can include a patient’s medication profile, and even allow patients to request medication refills and communicate with their healthcare team,” says Lars Osterberg, MD, MPH, staff physician at VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California, and associate professor, Stanford School of Medicine. “This interconnectivity is convenient for patients and can help them to self-manage chronic conditions efficiently. Reminder systems can be set up through e-mail and text to help patients improve adherence.”

    Geisinger’s patient portal has been live since 2001. More than 320,000 patients are registered, with more than 80,000 log-ins per month, says Wendling. “Our philosophy is to share as much data as possible with our patients, so that they have what they need in order to manage their care,” says Wendling. Laboratory results, radiology results, OpenNotes (a national initiative that shares providers’ progress notes with patients), discharge summaries and instructions, and visit summaries are all available online. Patients can securely message their provider, view educational materials including condition-specific content through condition centers (i.e., diabetes, asthma, heart failure), and track key inputs such as glucose, blood pressure, and weight.

    Patients can also answer specific health questionnaires prior to visits or during check-in (by accessing the portal through a patient check-in kiosk), and they can prepare for visits through the pre-visit center on the portal. The pre-visit center is used with all primary care patients and prompts patients to complete their health questionnaires, look at OpenNotes from a previous visit, and address healthcare maintenance items (i.e., preventive care as well as general care needs based on their condition).

    Next: "Smart" pills

     

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