CMIO: Tell me a little bit about your background and about NoMoreClipboard
Jeff: I’ve been at NoMoreClipboard for about three and half years and prior to that, NoMoreClipboard was a client of mine. I got the chance to work with them as a consultant for a year, and I came to respect their work tremendously in the healthcare IT space. Before joining the company, I did a comprehensive competitive analysis with over 100 PHR vendors. While different vendors share common traits, what sets NoMoreClipboard apart is our ability to integrate our software with existing clinical workflows. We have the best PHR solution on the market, based largely on our ability to help consumers compile, manage, and share personal health information with physicians and other care providers, without forcing those providers to dramatically alter the way they practice medicine.
The founders of NoMoreClipboard started in healthcare IT when they successfully created one of the first commercially viable health information exchanges and learned first-hand the critical importance of interoperability. Subsequently, they created a portfolio of web-based electronic health record products deployed in family practices and on-site health clinics at global Fortune 500 companies. NoMoreClipboard was launched as an interoperable, portable, patient-focused PHR built on a robust EHR architecture developed for clinical settings. This balance between the needs of consumers and clinicians is unique, and part of my role as president is to preserve this equilibrium. We are now able to provide web-based, branded patient portals to any hospital or health system, and our core software meets 90% of our client needs. Of course, we tailor our solutions when necessary, and integrate with existing applications including hospital information systems, in-patient and ambulatory EHR systems, and health information exchanges.
CMIO: What key clinical projects are you working on?
Jeff: There is a tremendous focus on “chronic disease management,” especially since the healthcare reform bill passed. In fact, in talking to many hospital and healthcare executives around the country, almost everyone is eager to figure out how they can use a PHR or patient portal in a meaningful way to manage patients, especially those with chronic conditions. This will tie into new reimbursement models so it has significant financial impact. For example, reducing ER admissions, readmissions for conditions like CHF, and managing diseases like diabetes in a more effective way will become more and more important for hospitals and healthcare providers. At NoMoreClipboard, we provide solutions to help with coordination of care by providing meaningful data that is easily accessible by patients and providers alike.
CMIO: What products or services should hospitals and other providers know about NoMoreClipboard but probably don’t?
Jeff: We have developed a very rich PHR solution to allow patients and providers to share data. Our PHR solution is at the core of the portals we build, and is surrounded by rich functionality that enables meaningful data exchange. We’ve built secure messaging protocols so, for example, a nurse or health coach can send a secure message to patients. We have focused on disease management and solving complex issues around exchanging data between providers, practices, hospitals, and patients. What sets us apart is our vision and our execution of that vision to make the data easy to exchange in a standard fashion that fits within the existing clinical workflow framework. We have a national provider database that enables patients to choose their preferred provider and we can then send PHR information to that provider. We do this in a structured manner so that the data is properly formatted and is reportable. We can even do “data comparison and reconciliation” from two different electronic sources. For a demo of this web-based reconciliation tool, please go to www.Froozhie.com. For all those providers who are still using paper charts, we can deliver PHR information on the specific registration forms used by each location. We do the heavy lifting to help each provider get the information they need, in the form they want.
CMIO: How have your solutions made a difference in patient experience?
Jeff: At Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., we’ve been able to reach out to underserved patients who use the PHR as a tool to manage diabetes. The Diabetes Treatment Center at Howard helps patients create a Howard-branded PHR account which is populated with data from their EHR system. Many of these patients use the PHR to share information such as blood glucose levels with the Howard clinical staff. When patients seek treatment elsewhere, they can give treating physicians access to the information in their PHR. We just expanded the program in partnership with George Washington University hospital, and we are now equipping patients with cell phones that serve as the access point for the PHR. As patients are prompted to enter information such as blood glucose levels, submitted levels generate immediate feedback on the cell phone.
We have also helped university health centers service their students in a more effective way. Take Indiana University – students visiting the on-campus health center were given paper forms to fill out regarding their medical history – information that most students relied on a parent to keep track of. The health center received incomplete and often inaccurate information on paper. Our patient portal has enabled incoming students, who use all kinds of electronic gadgets, to proactively create a PHR and fill out an on-line health history form prior to the start of the school year. The university sent a simple post card to incoming students and had a greater than 40% response rate during the first year of this new program. We expect that the number will be much higher this year. The university health center is overjoyed since they have meaningful, easily accessible electronic data to improve care for their patients and reduce administrative headaches.
CMIO: When IT costs come under the microscope, how can technology, including that provided by NoMoreClipboard, prove that it’s paying its way?
Jeff: There is certainly opportunity for cost savings associated with our solutions. Most hospitals need to start planning for the stimulus money if they haven’t already, and a properly deployed patient portal solution can satisfy patient and family engagement meaningful use requirements. There are administrative cost savings associated with our products by reducing or reallocating FTEs. Take, for example, Rx refill: we have automated that process to increase efficiency, decrease phone calls and reduce medication errors. Thus, time and cost savings associated with Rx refill have been realized. There is also cost savings when it comes to coordination of care by reducing duplication of services and effort in patient care. While these savings are just starting to emerge, we will see patient portals and PHRs contribute to operational improvements in the coordination of care.
CMIO Any closing remarks
Jeff: There are three important reasons for your readers to adopt patient portals and PHRs. The first is meaningful use, as ARRA requirements include electronic information sharing with patients. Second is the impact of healthcare reform legislation and the resulting focus on engaging patients to manage chronic disease and reduce readmissions. Hospitals and health systems who seek to become accountable care organizations will find it difficult to succeed without electronic tools to communicate with their patients. Third is the fact that a significant percentage of your patients are already online and using web-based tools to manage their health and wellness. You can make it easy for them to exchange information with you online, or you can watch them go elsewhere. We have to recognize how much business consumers conduct online and how prevalent online information sharing is. It is pervasive in every aspect of life, and healthcare is no exception. Those hospitals who decide to put this off for a few more years are likely to find themselves playing catch-up.