Correction: An earlier version of this article identified Ed Martinez as a physician.
According to Ed Martinez, IT director at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, one of the biggest issues with EHRs is that they are not patient-centric systems. ‘
“We had just gone live in 2007, 2006 with Cerner and I realized there was something missing in the whole Cerner’s story,” Martinez told MobiHealthNews in an interview with HIMSS18 in Las Vegas. “Look at the system. $ 100 billion and we are not focusing on the patient himself.
So he contacted serial entrepreneur Raj Toleti and HealthGrid was born. The idea behind the system is that communication with patients and parents is done as much as possible through an app rather than on paper.
“When people walk through the door, we give them a full electronic discharge document,” he said. “Attached to that are educational videos, along with appointment reminders. You can sign your documents online if you show up on the next visit. So when you walk in, you are ready to go to the doctor. You don’t have to deal with all the minutiae that goes with it, as you can do it from your mobile app at home.
Thanks to the mobile app, parents can also see where their child is in the hospital at any time.
“Parents always ask ‘what’s going on with my child?’ so we keep them informed, ”Martinez said. “We have determined when is the right time. We don’t want to encumber them with too much text. We want to hit them just at the right time and that’s just enough to calm them down, they no longer go to the nurses and say ‘What’s going on?’ and they know where their child is. “
Nicklaus is piloting another system that is not yet integrated with HealthGrid, but may be in the future, called KidChat. It is a HIPAA compliant platform that allows parents who cannot stay with their child in hospital to check in via video chat.
In another hospital, the system integrates the Cerner Patient Portal with HealthGrid. This could also be rolled out more widely in the future.
Martinez says the implementation of HealthGrid has paid off in bringing parents and patients back. He says they’ve gone from a 2-4% profit margin to a 10-11% margin.
“Keep the patient engaged and keep them at the center of the discussion,” Martinez said. “If you do this, the margins increase, the satisfaction increases, the compliance increases because the patient is more aware of what to do.”