|ATLANTA — March 1, 2010 — At the 2010 Annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference & Exhibition, Microsoft Corp. today announced Microsoft HealthVault Community Connect, a new software solution for hospitals designed to help them improve care coordination and engage patients and their families in managing their own health. HealthVault Community Connect enables hospitals to give patients and referring physicians access, after discharge, to electronic copies of the patient’s personal health data generated at the hospital. The product also lets patients preregister for hospital appointments online using their electronic personal health information to populate hospital forms in advance.
The new solution is scheduled to be available in the third quarter of 2010.
Using HealthVault Community Connect, a hospital can give patients the option to access electronic medical information generated during hospital visits through the hospital’s Web site. In addition, patients can store this information in Microsoft HealthVault, a security-enhanced online service that is designed to put consumers in control of their health by providing a central place for them to gather, store and manage their health records, as well as share that information with family and a trusted network of caregivers.
For example, patients can log on to the hospital’s patient Web site from any computer with Internet access to view their hospital visit records — including discharge instructions, clinician notes, medications, and laboratory and radiology results. In addition, HealthVault Community Connect allows the patient to send a copy of the hospital visit records to the patient’s personal HealthVault account to store the data and share it with family, caregivers or health applications as desired.
A patient or physician can request that the hospital grant referring physicians, perhaps the patient’s primary care physician or a referring specialist, access to the patient visit records through the hospital’s Web site. Providing this access will allow these physicians to easily stay informed about the patient’s treatment at the hospital and to help coordinate care more efficiently. The hospital will control the list of physicians who are authorized to access the patient’s records through the hospital’s physician portal.
“With HealthVault Community Connect, we are targeting one of the fundamental gaps in the care process — the lack of electronic information flow between the hospital, the patient and the patient’s care team outside the hospital,” said David Cerino, general manager, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “By allowing patients and their personal physicians to access electronic copies of their discharge instructions, for example, hospitals can facilitate better health outcomes by getting the relevant information into the hands of the people who need it most.”
According to research conducted by The New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI), one-third to one-half of patients in the United States do not take their medications as prescribed, costing the country $290 billion annually in avoidable medical spending.* To help address adherence, the NEHI report proposes creating healthcare teams, engaging and educating patients in their own care, and taking advantage of health information technologies, including electronic health records, to promote the sharing of medication data among patients, physicians and other caregivers.
“As an early adopter of HealthVault Community Connect, Brooks is excited about applying innovative technology to enhance service to our patients and referring community,” said Karen Green, chief information officer at Brooks, a 143-bed acute physical rehabilitation hospital with more than 25 outpatient centers and a home health services division that receives patients from more than 2,000 referral sources in Florida and south Georgia. “This solution will address Brooks’ strategic initiatives to improve care coordination and engage patients and families in their healthcare.”
In addition to providing patient health data following treatment, hospitals using HealthVault Community Connect can offer their patients the ability to preregister for hospital admission online using the personal health information stored in their HealthVault account, including medical history, current medications, insurance and demographic information. Using the patients’ personal health data from HealthVault to populate the hospital’s admission forms before the visit can save time and help patients improve the consistency of information entered.
Designed for hospitals of any size, HealthVault Community Connect will integrate with an organization’s existing information technology infrastructure and use Microsoft SharePoint Server, so it can be easily customized and can evolve to meet future organizational requirements.