Partnering with Local Physicians to Use Technology to Improve Patient Outcomes
Community Medical Providers, a group of local primary care providers, recently saw evidence of this when a patient arrived at the office and told the staff that they had just “saved her life”. The physician group had just upgraded to a new computer system that identified over 70 female patients that were either due or overdue for a mammography exam. To encourage these patients to have their tests done, the office staff decided to do a personalized letter-writing campaign and not only sent a letter, but included the physician’s “referral slip” for the exam.
Sure enough, when Mrs. Jones* received the letter, she went in for her mammography exam and discovered a lump in her breast that turned out to be cancer. She was able to quickly have the lump removed and shared with Community Medical Providers that she is now cancer-free. She said to the staff that it was the letter and referral that prompted her to get the test done that saved her life.
In 2012, the Joint Health Management Board piloted incentives for primary care physicians to adopt new care management technologies like the computer system at Community Medical Providers that prompted the letter that saved Mrs. Jones’ life. After nearly 3 years of evaluating the effectiveness of the program, the JHMB expanded the program in January 2015 to additional primary care groups.
More and more JHMB members can expect medical care not just at the doctor’s office, but from care managers in-between visits, as well as through access to electronic health records and secure email communications with their physicians.
*Names and other identifying information have been changed to protect member privacy.