Hello Health Blog

Experience is not Patient Engagement: Designing to Satisfy Needs, Not Rules

Posted by Steven Ferguson on Tue, Dec 11, 2012 @ 10:49 AM

Michael Schrage, well-known author, MIT professor and Harvard Business Review writer, posted a compelling blog at HBR on the difference between user experience and user engagement.

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Topics: patient engagement, EHR, meaningful use incentive, Meaningful use

Empowering the People with Patient Portals

Posted by Steven Ferguson on Tue, Nov 06, 2012 @ 01:25 PM


Whether Republican or Democrat, most people can agree that one of the best things about living in America is the freedom to be an active participant in the political system.  No matter your political affiliation, your ability to get out and have a say in the future of your country is one of the greatest liberties you are afforded as an American.  Wouldn’t it be nice if, in the same way, patients were given the opportunity to be active participants in their own health care? Now, thanks to the modern efficiency of patient portals, they can. Just like any American has the opportunity to walk up to a poll booth and cast their ballot, patients can portal their way to better communication with their health care providers.

A surefire way for a doctor to increase chances of success in a practice is through patient engagement and empowerment. The health care system nationwide is striving to give more responsibility and ownership to patients of their medical care. Instead of stripping the doctor and patient from control, the world of medicine opens its own sort of poll booth through patient portals like the one Hello Health offers, inviting the patient to step up and have a say in his or her own health care.

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Topics: patient engagement, patient portal, health care, election day

Consumer-Driven Health Care: Fixing the Hassle Map

Posted by Steven Ferguson on Mon, Oct 01, 2012 @ 08:58 AM

Interesting commentary in a Fierce Practice Management editorial post on Sept. 19 (http://bit.ly/UoRWG5). Debra Beaulieu writes about the rise of nurse practitioners (NPs) and physicians assistants (PAs) practicing independently, and the pretty virulent reaction of primary care physicians to this trend.

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Topics: patient engagement, primary care practice, consumer-driven health care, Hassle Map

Meaningful Use Stage 2 is Step 1: Stepping Through the Patient Portal

Posted by Stephen Armstrong on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 @ 10:27 AM

With the recent publishing of the final Stage 2 rule for meaningful use, we are likely to be talking about the state of patient portals more than ever. This is because, under Stage 2 requirements, physicians will not only have to offer patients online access to their records, but must also ensure that a percentage of their patients will use it. The bar is not particularly high at first blush – 5 percent of patients – a reduction from the original 10 percent threshold originally proposed. Nevertheless, for a practice with 2,000 patients, that means at least 100 patients will need to access, print, share or download their records.

Patient portals are not new. Practices with an existing EHR “sans portal” will need to add one or even possibly replace their EHR. And there have been well-publicized entrees and exits in this space. Remember Google Health?  And as recently profiled in the American Medical News article, Will Meaningful use Spur Growth of Patient Portals?, an October 2011 survey published by Manhattan Research found that 140 million patients reported that they have not accessed their records nor are they interested in doing so.

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Topics: patient engagement, Electronic health record, Meaningful use, Health IT solutions

Patient Engagement and Branding? Taking a Cue from Seth Godin

Posted by Steven Ferguson on Thu, Sep 06, 2012 @ 09:04 AM

Seth Godin is a well-known marketing and brand guru who has written a number of interesting books and maintains one of the most widely read blogs on the web (http://sethgodin.typepad.com).

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Topics: patient engagement, primary care practice, small physician practice, small independent primary care practice

Using Health Information Technology to Promote Patient Engagement

Posted by Ali Dufour on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 @ 09:07 AM

At the HIMSS (Health Information Management Systems Society) conference in February, I attended the eCollaboration Forum, which explores collaborative platforms as foundations for a transformation to Accountable Care. One of the sessions was headed by a panel of doctors advocating a change in the overall healthcare delivery process, including a shifting focus away from institutions and toward consumers and ePatients. You could feel the passion and commitment of each member of the panel as they described their day-to-day encounters with their patients. Panelists discussed several reasons why the move toward patient engagement is slow to come in the industry, but many of the reasons related to health information technology vendors (or, as the panelists put it, “the people from the dark side.”) Panelists cited an unwillingness of vendors to change, bloated and dysfunctional companies, a misunderstanding of providers’ situation and/or needs, and plain old lack of innovation as some of the main disconnects between vendors and the users of health information systems.  The discussion was a wake-up call for me. I was appalled to see the inherent disconnect between the vendors and users of the products we create, and the realization caused me to think about my unique role in the healthcare IT ecosystem.

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Topics: Hello Health, patient engagement, Electronic health record, Health IT solutions, accountable care

Are Patients at the Center or the Middle?

Posted by Steven Ferguson on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 @ 09:32 AM

Our friends at Triple Tree, an investment banking and advisory firm, focus a great deal of their energy on health care technology, e-health and mobile health. They publish great reports and blog posts, and one in particular recently caught my eye.

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Topics: Hello Health, patient engagement, electronic medical record

Moving the Annual Physical Exam Online to Promote Patient Engagement

Posted by Matt Beer on Mon, Aug 20, 2012 @ 08:30 AM

A recent article in The New York Times questioned the usefulness of the adult annual physical exam, with its unnecessary examinations and tests. It prompted me to give some thought to the idea of an outpatient world without the prized annual well visit.

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Topics: Hello Health, patient engagement, patient self-management, accountable care

Patients Sans Frontières: Older patients use PHR technology too

Posted by Stephen Armstrong on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 @ 11:13 AM

When we discuss the opportunity for greater online access with doctors and the capabilities of secure web-based patient portals to create a new level of convenience and better access, too often the image of a young twenty-something web-savvy patient comes to mind as the early adopter and heavy user of such a relationship. But is this really the case? How do older patients react to the opportunities of web connectivity with their doctor?

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Topics: patient engagement, EMR, small physician practice, free EHR, free EMR, independent primary care practice, electronic medical records, online appointment scheduling

Online Care is Part of the New Normal in Primary Care

Posted by Steven Ferguson on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

A recently released Accenture report focused on the interest of Americans in accessing health information online, including online consults. 82% want access to personal medical information online, 72% want to manage appointments online and 76% want to communicate with their doctors online. No surprises there, as noted by an editor at Fierce Healthcare who also remarked on the fact that 85% “still want” face-to-face time with their doctor.

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Topics: patient engagement, EHR, EMR, physician revenue, Patient Management, doctor revenue, free EHR, free EMR, PHR, accountable care

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