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ACE12 Day One (continued)

Once the excitement of seeing all 4,000 of us gathered in one room for Wednesday’s Opening Address had worn off, ACE12’s attendees got down to the business of learning and educating. Some of the educating was of the map-reading variety as attendees went through the usual first-day adjustment to a large conference in an unfamiliar setting.  Some of them even discovered they were in the wrong conference entirely (ACE Hardware is holding its annual convention in McCormick Place this week as well).

In between educational sessions, attendees made their way to The HUB — the ACE12 exhibition hall — to ask questions of the Allscripts solution experts and peruse some of the 84 Allscripts partners exhibiting at the conference. The HUB was also the site of the Opening Day Reception Wednesday evening, where, judging from some of the smiles in the room, either the company was very good or the two-drink maximum wasn’t being strictly enforced.

Next door to the HUB, attendees took advantage of networking opportunities while grabbing lunch in the Gathering Spot.

 Sessions That Caught Our Eye

When you’ve got over 400 educational sessions to cover, the odds are high that you’ll miss out on the best.  Still, our intrepid team of reporters sat in on several sessions in between other duties and came away impressed with the accumulated wisdom of our clients.

Guide Patients to Empowerment: Tools, Technology, and Opportunties

Presenter: Laurie Boisjoli, Vice President of Clinical Innovation for Allscripts

Laurie started off with a truism that’s nonetheless striking: “The greatest untapped resource in healthcare is the patient.” While there are nearly 14,000 consumer health apps in Apple’s App Store, most healthcare organizations are still struggling to come to terms with “patient engagement.”  We all know that value-based care will require patients to take more responsibility for their own health. But how to get them involved?

Engaging patients, Laurie pointed out, is about enabling the patient with the skills, confidence and knowledge they need to successfully manage their health. It’s not enough to provide access to information. Providers need to channel information to patients in the right way and at the right time.

She calls it “targeted engagement.” As with any business, “know your audience” is the first rule of thumb.  Once you understand who you’re targeting, you can fine-tune your communications for that audience. The message, cadence, and medium of communication is different for healthy young people, or early-stage chronic disease patients than it is for late-stage patients. There are many great tools to help you understand your patients and how they want to be communicated with.

These include Intelligent Patient Navigation – tools for patients to navigate the complex health system such as intelligent scheduling and a community resource locator. There are also many good Patient Information Management Portals (including Allscripts portals) that provide access to patient records, decision aids, virtual care conversations, wellness and prevention plans, risk assessment tools, and health trackers.

Bottom line, says Laurie: “We have a mountain to climb with patient engagement and we need to be targeted when trying to engage patients.”

Patient Portal Implementation of myHealthcare at University of California at Irvine Healthcare

Presenter: Jamie Anand, RN, MS, Informatics Outreach Architect, UC Irvine Healthcare

Jamie described the implementation of Sunrise Patient Portal across the 60 specialized ambulatory clinics of the UC Irvine Medical Center, Orange County’s (Calif.) only university medical center. UCI went live on the solution in October 2011, and plans on providing online bill payment functionality in August, with additional functionality scheduled for this Fall.

All of a patient’s data from the Medical Center’s Sunrise Clinical Manager acute care EHR and Sunrise Ambulatory EHR is available in the portal.  The portal also is integrated with Microsoft HealthVault, giving patients the ability to transfer their information into their own PHR. This may be one of the first instances of patient portal-HealthVault integration in the nation, Jamie said.

To market the portal to patients, UCI used a variety of means including posters on sandwich boards outside each clinic, fliers and how-to brochures, as well as advertisements on UCI’s consumer website.

Today myHealthcare has over 6,500 active members. The most popular feature on the portal, Jamie said, is secure health messaging between providers and patients. Prescription renewal requests account for a large percentage of those messages. Patients can migrate events and health appointments from the portal to their own iCalendar-supported applications, such as Microsoft Outlook, Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. Patients can also download a pdf of their entire record to take to other providers.

Tweet Watch

Those of you following #ACE12 on Twitter may have spotted two industry veterans tweeting about the conference:

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