HealthBlog

Thoughts, comments, news, and reflections about healthcare IT from Microsoft's worldwide health senior director Bill Crounse, MD, on how information technology can improve healthcare delivery and services around the world.

The Case for Patient Self-Service in Healthcare Facilities Enabled by Microsoft Technologies and Partner Solutions

The Case for Patient Self-Service in Healthcare Facilities Enabled by Microsoft Technologies and Partner Solutions

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Tomorrow, I will record the second show in our new series of audiocasts (podcasts) on www.microsoft.com/healthcare.  If you didn't have an opportunity to check out our inaugural program on physician-patient e-mail, you can check it out here.

Our second program picks up on a topic I introduced not too long ago for my "House Calls for Healthcare Professionals" article series; the growing patient self-service phenomenon.  Personally, I think this is one of the hottest areas in healthcare IT right now.  Talk about a way to improve patient satisfaction, the quality of care, and get a positive return on investment!  This is it.  Guests on my program will include:

Raj Toleti, president of Galvanon, a premier healthcare information technological solutions and management company specializing in patient self-service solutions on kiosks and other devices.

David W. Carleton, CIO, Heritage Valley Health System, a healthcare delivery system consisting of 2 hospitals and 50+ physician offices and clinics covering a 60 mile radius located NE of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Simeon Schwartz, a practicing hematologist/oncologist who serves as CEO for the Westchester Medical Group in White Plains, New York.

Chaim Indig, President and co-founder of Phreesia Inc., a start-up that is focusing on changing the patient experience in private practice without adding cost to the physician or patient.

The program, "The Case for Patient Self-Service in Healthcare" should go live around the 20th of March.  I hope you'll check it out.

On another note, I lambasted my industry (healthcare) in December after receiving some very bad service during the hospitalization of a family member.  Believe me, the criticism was well deserved.  Yesterday, I had the pleasure :) of undergoing a minor surgical procedure at another facility in Seattle.  Although this facility was anything but high-tech on the IT front, I received excellent and extremely compassionate care every step of the way.  And even though I could come up with a dozen ways this practice could improve operations (and probably their bottom line) with more IT, my positive experience goes to show that a practice that focuses foremost on putting patients first is always a recipe for success.  Here's what I experienced; happy helpful receptionists, a warm and caring staff, a clean efficient office, excellent pre and post treatment care, clear concise communication, a sensitivity to human dignity, taking time to answer questions, greeting everyone with a smile, and always a reassuring human touch.  These are the little things that make a good practice great.  My sincerest thanks to Dr. Craig Birkby and his staff. 

We'd like to hear from you.  Let us know what you think.

Bill Crounse, MD   Healthcare Industry Director  Microsoft Healthcare and Life Sciences 

  • I got stuck in the airport the week of HIMSS06 and wrote "Just in Time Medical Information" on my latest blog entry. Check it out. We're definitely on the same page here with respect to the idea of patient centric informatics as an orientation for healthcare information systems.  

    This approach will be the engine that drives patients and their employers to hospital systems and providers that can deliver information faster and better.  There are a thousand ways to improve the status quo and hopefully, as a result this will provide the cash that furthers IT development.

    " It's not just better healthcare it means better health."
    That's a quote from me while I was trying to tell my wife why I was spending so much time on the computer.

    Doug Krell
  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Dr. Krell.  There are so many ways to improve business processes in healthcare, and patient self-service is just one of them.  I hope you'll check out our audiocast when it airs the week of March 20.

    Bill Crounse, MD
  • At bit off point your discussion but ....as a fairly technologically sophisticated practicing neurologist I have frequently lamented the lack of availability of cost-effective, Microsoft Office driven solutions to small physican office problems like medical records, and patient information database issues such as patient data keeping,

    Integrating these solutions into a familiar and user manipulatable environment such as Excel, Word, Access would be useful for many of us who are not "technophobes."

    As far as I know these solutions are not available and I even toy with the idea of developing them myself.  What can Microsoft do to facilitate this process?  The "partners" are not stepping up to the plate....
  • Thanks for your comments, Dr. Karem.  I receive e-mail almost daily from physicians asking Microsoft to develop an electronic medical record for the ambulatory market.  But that is not our core competency.  For now, our strategy is to work with industry solution vendors to help them build the most technologically advanced solutions based on our platform and technologies.

    I am also aware that many physicians, like you, are using our solutions in very innovative ways to manage their practices or even document their patient encounters.  Some of those physicians even decide to enter the ambulatory EMR business and market their solutions to colleagues.

    All of us at Microsoft Healthcare & Life Sciences wish you the very best.

    Bill Crounse, MD
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