On Friday, April 13, Philip Present, Chief Operating Officer of MedPlus, the Healthcare IT Subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics, addressed an audience of U.S. House of Representatives staff in Washington, D.C. on the topic of Health Information Technology.
This was an opportunity for Quest Diagnostics to educate members and congressional staff on the value of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for physicians, in order to better support engagement and care coordination over the long-term between providers and patients.
His comments centered on the overall vision of Quest Diagnostics to help improve the quality of patient outcomes and to find better ways to reduce overall healthcare costs. The company believes that the road to achieving better quality outcomes for patients is by empowering Primary Care Physicians (PCPs).
PCPs are typically the care coordinators for chronically ill patients and by providing them with access to the most comprehensive and real-time clinical information, improvements can be made in the overall quality of care. But so far, the healthcare industry has under-invested in the IT infrastructure necessary achieve these goals. Quest Diagnostics believes that a strong IT infrastructure is needed and should remain a critical focus in the near-term.
The company is committed to providing physicians with a rich and robust data exchange that can be accessed from anywhere. Interconnectivity among multiple healthcare settings is the key to enabling a stronger Clinical Decision Support tool that can easily provide evidence-based, clinically relevant alerts that help improve adherence to clinical guidelines.
By utilizing the Care360 Suite of Solutions, including Care360 EHR and Care360 EHR with Data Exchange, clinicians can access patient data anytime, anywhere because the healthcare solutions are cloud-based and available via the Internet or mobile devices including the iPad®, iPhone® and other smartphones.
A significant number of small physician practices have yet to adopt an EHR, so questions remain as to the reasons why. Perhaps it’s due to implementation costs, system complexities or even confusion about what system is the best for their practice. Quest Diagnostics is determined to take an aggressive approach to ensure that all community physicians have the benefits of clinical histories, a robust data exchange and the analytics necessary to achieve the best quality patient care outcomes.
To that end, recent company initiatives like the Care360 EHR Grant Program offer physicians who don’t currently have an EHR with an 85 percent subsidy. The program, following established federal guidelines for donating EHR systems, is especially helpful for physicians practicing in underserved communities in and around Houston – offering EHR licensing and services for providers to treat patients who need it the most. The purpose is to reduce health disparities in the city’s Latino community, led by the Care360 EHR Grant, the Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, the HIMSS Latino community, Medic Success and the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved.
Check back soon to read Phil Present’s blog about his experience in Washington, D.C. He was joined on the Healthcare IT panel by representatives from CVS Caremark, American College of Physicians (ACP), the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the National Partnership for Women and Families.