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Portals, Mobile Devices, and Patient Engagement – #HIStalking Tweet Chat Thursday, September 24 at 1pm ET

September 21, 2015 News No Comments

Join @JennHIStalk and @iatricFJF (Frank Fortner, president of Iatric Systems) for a discussion on portals, mobile devices and patient engagement. Preview #HIStalking discussion questions below and brush up on how to participate in a tweet chat towards the end of this post.


The healthcare industry – patients, providers, and vendors alike – have discussed patient-centered healthcare for a while. Today’s patient engagement isn’t the end-game because data from various, disparate systems sit in silos and isn’t easily accessed by patients. Further, most of today’s tools deliver a monologue of data flow “to” the patient, with very few solutions able to receive data “from” the patient. Providers must find better ways to deliver the tools patients need to truly become active in their own healthcare, where patient data from all sources is presented to patients in a simple, clear, and actionable way; and where appropriate patient-generated data has a pathway back to providers.

A recent run-in with my two year-old Lab mix named George and a sidewalk sent me to the local ED with a separated shoulder. The ED and orthopedist’s office separately emailed me instructions on how to enroll in their patient portals, and yet, like many patients, I did nothing with them.

I quickly realized the issue may not be that providers aren’t trying to engage patients or that there’s even a lack of technology; it might be that we aren’t using the technology already sitting in our hands.

Pew Research Center recently found that 64 percent of Americans own smartphones, with a large majority being used for Internet access. Combine this with the abundance of customized smartphones apps and it seems these handheld devices can be used for just about anything. The question then becomes, why aren’t these devices more prevalent in healthcare as a bridge across the patient engagement chasm?

As the president of a healthcare technology company that has created various patient portals, I completely see their value. But, combining portals with today’s smartphone technology – the device most have integrated into their every waking hour – would better enable patients to view, download, and transmit their health data from, and even back to providers. This would lay the groundwork for creating a more patient-centric and patient-involved environment.

During my time in the ED, if I could have enrolled my mobile device, which I would’ve done to take my mind off the pain, I would now have my imaging report, diagnosis, and electronic discharge instructions in my pocket and available for the next provider.

With that, I’m excited for the opportunity to host this Thursday’s #HIStalking tweet chat about patient portals, mobile devices, and how they can help engage patients.

#HIStalking Discussion Questions

Q1: How have you personally benefited from a patient portal or mobile patient access application?

Q2: Would consumerism have eventually drawn focus to patient engagement without the government’s push?

Q3: Patient portal adoption rates are near 25 percent, or one in four patients in physician practices of all sizes. Why isn’t this higher?

Q4: What killer app or feature is missing in today’s patient engagement solutions?

Q5: Technology has been the initial focus, but patient engagement is so much more. What has the industry missed by concentrating on portals?

Bonus Q: Looking down the road,  in the next five-plus years, how do you feel today’s patient engagement initiatives will impact the healthcare experience?

Tweet Chat Instructions

It’s easy to join the Twitter conversation by logging into TweetChat, which automatically keeps you in the conversation by tagging all tweets with the #HIStalking hash tag. If you are unable to access the TweetChat room, simply search in Twitter for #HIStalking and follow the conversation. To contribute, be sure and tag your tweets with #HIStalking so they can be seen by other chat participants.


JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan

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