Doctors Using drchrono Now Have Access to Mayo Clinic’s Entire Patient Education Library
In terms of finding its match in an electronic health record vendor, that ship sailed long ago for Mayo Clinic. But that doesn’t mean it can’t still speak to other vendors, especially startups.
On a trip to Silicon Valley to reach out to local companies here, Mayo met with drchrono, creator of the free iPad-based EHR. The resulting partnership led Mayo to supply drchrono with the materials it needed for its latest project.
Physicians can now use drchrono to offer their patients medical education resources, all authored by Mayo Clinic. This includes more than 2,600 documents and 300 videos that cover everything from general wellness to specific diseases. Before Mayo made this material available outside of its facilities, it was mainly delivered to patients in paper form, or they could watch videos on site.
Drchrono took all of those files and digitized them so that patients can view them in the waiting room on an iPad as well as at home on their patient portal. Drchrono has a personal health record manager called onpatient, which connects to physicians’ drchrono EHRs. Through onpatient, users can view their doctor’s recommended reading, and doctors can also check whether their patients viewed the materials.
The idea is to help physicians continue to go completely paperless, and more importantly, to help them fulfill a measure of Meaningful Use that is often an afterthought. A Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirement calls for doctors to provide 10% of their unique patients with education resources.
“They may not even be thinking about patient education now, but it’s just one of these second order problems that comes up when doctors are actually adopting EHRs,” CEO of drchrono Michael Nusimow said.
By nearly automating the process of assigning patient materials, the feature ensures that the step gets done amid all other concerns around specified EHR use. Drchrono automatically generates a list of relevant documents and videos based on a patient’s electronic record. Then doctors select from the list what they’d like their patients to view. Building this feature took months, as the drchrono team had to go through thousands of PDF files and tag them with relevant metadata.
“Doctors are so overwhelmed, there’s no way they can review all of the education materials that any service is going to give out. They just do not have the time,” Nusimow said.
Which is why it’s important that they trust the source. Patient materials are often laden with commercial interests when they’re written by pharmaceutical or medical device companies. Since this project was done in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, the material is much more credible. Nusimow said drchrono will continue to update its patient education repository as Mayo comes out with more material.