06 Apr University of Oklahoma partners with IBM to build patient centered medical home
MADISON: There used to be a time when we had a family doctor. A physician who knew your medical history? This doctor would see you outside of office hours and on weekends. IBM Healthcare with its partners want to bring the family doctor back with a new model for primary care they call the “Patient Centered Medical Medical Home,” (PCMH). In this virtual new model your doctor can will even make house calls—albeit virtually.
The University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine and IBM Healthcare announced today they will build a primary-care practice model that will meet President Obama’s vision of an information-based, connected healthcare system. The project will begin at the physician’s practice level and will include the digital health information technologies required to help doctors deliver coordinated and patient-centered care.
“All Oklahomans can be proud that, after looking at the qualifications of medical schools in the nation, IBM selected the University of Oklahoma as its partner,” said OU President David Boren.
This new program, which marks IBM’s first “medical home” pilot with a medical school, includes 355 physicians and connects clinical data from 11 different EMRs between hospitals, physician offices, local ambulances, fire departments and patients.
From episodic care to holistic care
“In the Medical Home model, the primary care physician acts as healthcare “coach”, leading the team that manages a patient’s wellness, preventative and chronic care needs. He or she spends more time with each patient in person, is available via email and phone for consultation; offers expanded hours and coordinates care across the individual’s entire care team,” according to Dan Pelino, IBM’s general manager, Global Healthcare & Life Science.
“For example, a diabetic in the Medical Home model could give daily blood test readings by phone, email or even a state-of-the-art remote monitoring device and get medical instructions the moment he needs them, rather than wait for an appointment. The care team would have a holistic health plan in place focusing on diet and exercise as well as monitoring glucose levels.”
The U.S. Healthcare system faces many communications challenges. The average Medicare patient sees more than five different providers each year. This means that potentially critical clinical information is stored in five different sets of medical charts. Even if each of the doctors has an electronic medical record system, the data will remain locked in separate silos, preventing the providers from effectively coordinating patient care beyond the boundaries of their own practices.
Increasingly, physicians are seeking ways to efficiently and affordably jumpstart the use of interconnected and digitized healthcare systems to help them reform a fractured healthcare system. IBM and OU will produce a working model of an EMR-enabled medical home practice that can be adopted by health systems and primary care practices across the United States to provide patients with the personalized, information-based care needed to improve healthcare delivery.
IBM will bring to the collaboration its secure information-exchange technologies, electronic medical records (EMRs) enabled with patient-centered medical home processes, and electronic health record (EHR) portals for use by patients, physicians, caregivers and health insurers.
“Health information systems are central to the Medical Home model. An electronic health record (EHR) serves as the single source of information that can be shared across a network of providers and specialists. In a 2008 Commonwealth Fund survey of 7,500 chronically ill participants, Americans fared worse than their counterparts in seven other countries. They were most likely to report wasting time because their care was so poorly organized,” said Pelino.
In addition, OU and IBM will also collaborate to design and implement new health analytics platforms to derive value from the clinical data contained in interconnected EMRs. The health analytics solutions will use IBM’s open standards-based technology and will serve as a way to store, analyze and capitalize on OU’s clinical, financial, operational, claims, genomic and other medical data.
“Our new relationship with OU reflects our deep commitment to drive comprehensive Healthcare reform through smarter healthcare solutions. Because OU stands committed to PCMH in its curriculum, research and practice, they make an ideal partner in our shared mission to build smarter healthcare systems,” said Robert Merkel, IBM Healthcare Global Industry Leader in a prepared statement. “We look forward to marrying OU’s strengths in family medicine and medical home best practices with IBM’s business transformation capabilities. By enabling information exchange and improving collaboration, we will empower physicians and patients to drive healthcare innovation within Oklahoma.and across our nation.”
OU and IBM will also team in research projects to solve critical issues such as: the effects of human factors and technology upon each other in health care delivery settings; how patients can most efficiently communicate with their physicians; how patients can better manage their medical challenges using connected EMR technology; and how technology can strengthen the patient-doctor relationship. In addition to data management, data integration, patient privacy and patient safety will also be addressed in this research effort.