Putting Patients in Charge of Their Health

New electronic health records system gives control to patients.

HOW TO START AN EMPLOYEE WELLNESS PROGRAMObtaining a copy of your medical records can be a hassle. It usually involves paperwork, a few phone calls, and then waiting for about three weeks to finally get your documents. Thankfully, there is a new, quicker way for patients to access their health records. Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard recently spoke with us about a new branch of the company called Patient Fusion.

B.E.: What is Patient Fusion? How does it work?

Howard: Patient Fusion gives patients choice over their health care by allowing them to search from over 30,000 doctors, more than 1.8 million patient reviews, and book appointments online instantly. It also connects patients with their health records after their visit so they can make more informed decisions about their health and stay engaged with their care.

B.E.: When was Patient Fusion developed?

Howard: It’s been a part of the idea behind Practice Fusion from the beginning. I’ve always felt that unified, lifelong health records for every patient has been an end goal of what we do here—so that, for example, a doctor can easily look up your drug allergy records and past medical history if you suddenly need to make a trip to the emergency room. It’s really been in this past year, though, that we’ve been able to leverage the scope of our platform with 75 million patients under management. In April we launched Patient Fusion online profiles. Shortly thereafter, we released improvements to their online records, including flexible spending reports that patients can use to monitor and manage their health spending.

B.E.: How does Patient Fusion make patients’ lives easier?

Howard: I think everyone has had the experience of trying to find a doctor and not knowing where to start. We make it easy for patients to find care that fits their needs, while making the process of finding an appointment time completely seamless.

B.E.: What is your vision for the company? How do you hope to change healthcare?

Howard: The biggest potential of our platform lies in data-driven care. This sets us apart from other EHR systems. We have a big enough platform, with enough doctors and patients, that we can draw powerful analytical conclusions about things like treatment effectiveness and diabetes risk factors. In the doctor’s hands, this information will drive population health management that allows doctors to identify patients that are most in need of attention and inform the decisions they make about the treatment those patients receive.

If you missed the first part of this two-part interview, click here for more.

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