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The Health Care Transformation

Posted 11/14/2017 by UHBlog

Technology is changing the future of health care for the better. Ask us about which applications are right for you.

The Health Care Transformation

If you’ve ever used an app or website to track your weight, diet or exercise routine, you're in good company. Nearly one-third of adults use some form of health information technology (health IT) to track one or more of their health indicators, according to a 2010 Pew Research Center report.

The reasons are simple: convenience and control.

“It puts the control back in the patient's hand,” says virtual health and telehealth manager Andrew Moleski. “The technology isn't designed to handle every health care need you might have, but it does allow you to do certain activities more conveniently.”

For instance, with the MyUHCare Personal Health Record (PHR), the patient makes the decisions with this online tool. If you want to send a message to your health care provider after hours or access your child's list of immunizations over the weekend, you can.

“A PHR can be used in many different ways, depending on a person's individual situation,” says Sandra Touschner, MSSA, BS, CHTS-TR, supervisor, IT Clinical Applications – Personal Health Record. “The tool was designed with flexibility in mind, and it continues to evolve and improve as patients' needs and wants change.”

Among the health IT choices offered at UH are:

  • MyUHCare Personal Health Record. There are a number of ways to use PHR, including to:
    • Review your health records
    • Read test results, radiology reports and office visit notes
    • Request prescription refills
    • Communicate privately with your physician's practice via secure messaging
    • Pay your bill
    • Maintain your health information (allergies, medications, immunizations, conditions, etc.)

    “One of the newest features is something called 'Open Notes,' which enables you to read the office visit notes dictated by your doctor,” Touschner says.

    Depending on the UH location you visit, your PHR is tailored for that site. For example, UH Elyria, UH Parma, UH Portage, UH St. John and UH Samaritan medical centers operate on a separate platform than the UH core hospitals platforms. For information on these PHRs, visit the MyUHCare website.

    The UH core hospitals platforms include:

    Regardless, all the PHR platforms are adding different functions quickly in order to give patients the information they want when they want it.

    You can set up a UH PHR account for the core UH hospitals one of two ways: by requesting an emailed invitation from your provider's office at your next visit or by going directly to the MyUHCare website from a computer or laptop. If you sign up online via your computer or laptop, you'll be prompted through a verification process and asked to provide personal identifying information after clicking the “I need to sign up” button.

  • UH Virtual Visit. According to Moleski, this technology allows a person with a non-emergency medical issue, such as a cold, rash or sinus infection, to have a virtual appointment with a doctor through a smartphone or video conferencing. It's available 24/7, 365 days a year – and it's affordable. The cost of a visit is $49 or less, depending on your insurance, which is a significant savings over going to an urgent care or convenient care clinic. Additionally, you're able to get medications prescribed, such as an antibiotic or topical cream, from the provider.

    “When I'm sick, the last place I want to be is in a doctor's office with a lot of other sick people,” he says. “Virtual Visit is a good option in those situations where it’s appropriate to see a doctor virtually instead of in person.”

  • ZocDoc. If you want to read physician profiles, qualifications and user reviews and ratings, ZocDoc offers those options. Additionally, once you decide to make an appointment, you can use the real-time online appointment booking to schedule across nearly 100 UH locations.

    More than 300 primary care physicians and pediatricians are accessible through ZocDoc. They represent more than 15 different specialties – including primary care physicians in internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics, as well as OB-GYNS, orthopedists and cardiologists.

    To access ZocDoc, you go to UHhospitals.org/ScheduleNow or by downloading the free ZocDoc iPhone or Android app.

  • UH Now. This is a mobile app which offers the ultimate in convenience when it comes to reviewing information pertaining to your personal care or questions you might have about UH, Moleski says. It offers many features including:

    • Access to the patient’s PHR
    • UH and emergency room locations
    • A listing of doctors and providers
    • Exploration of health topics and symptom checkers
  • Schedule Me Now. This tool can be used to schedule with another UH provider if your doctor gives you a referral. For instance, if your primary care doctor recommends you see an orthopedic surgeon, Schedule Me Now lets you see the surgeon's open appointment times and book your appointment – even if the orthopedic doctor's office is busy or closed.

    Schedule Me Now is accessible through the UH website or the UH Now app.

Andrew Moleski is manager, Virtual Health and Telehealth at University Hospitals.

Sandra Touschner, MSSA, BS, CHTS-TR, is supervisor, IT Clinical Applications – Personal Health Record at University Hospitals.

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