Partners HealthCare has launched a five-year digital health initiative to improve the patient experience, boost digital innovation and transform clinical care across the system. The program will build upon Partners’ foundational investments in data, technology and analytics and expand digital care projects to advance patient reach, impact and outcomes in a transformational way.
“We need to make health care easier for our patients,” said Gregg Meyer, MD, Chief Clinical Officer at Partners HealthCare. “Our patients want health care to operate like every other sector of our economy, and this initiative will help us to engage patients and ensure that they are getting the attention they need, when they need it. By leveraging data and technology, we can ensure that wherever patients are in our system, they can benefit from the expertise of our clinicians and access world-class care.”
The digital health initiative supports Partners’ recently announced five-year systemwide strategy aimed at creating the premier integrated health care system of the future. A key component of the strategy is to build on the organization’s strong track record for innovations in diagnostics, therapeutics, devices and data analytics for leading patient care, as well as impact on the health of the communities we serve.
The initiative focuses on proactively engaging patients and consumers in their health care journey, with the goal of providing patients digital resources, services and solutions to improve their health and quality of life. Some of the initial self-service programs will include:
online scheduling of appointments
24/7 video and text enabled anywhere virtual care
online access to medical records including OpenNotes®
cost estimates for procedures and diagnostic imaging
seamless aggregation of medical records for Partners and non-Partners health care sites
wait times for all Partners Emergency Departments and Urgent Care
customized patient communication options, including text, email, call or direct mail
The digital health initiative will incubate innovative programs under development with the goal of expanding programs that show provider adoption and patient impact. The initiative will increase the reach and frequency of interactions with patients using novel technologies to deliver cutting-edge programs with proven outcomes to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
“As a health care system with two leading academic medical centers and the nation’s largest research enterprise, our clinicians and researchers are developing digital tools and care programs that are transforming medicine,” said Alistair Erskine, MD, Chief Digital Health Officer for Partners HealthCare. “This initiative will fuel early stage projects, provide the resources to test those projects and then more importantly, provide a structure to scale projects that allows us to expand access for patients across our health care system and beyond.”
The digital health program will connect data and analytics professionals from across Partners hospitals and implement an enterprise data ecosystem, creating a unified approach to data management and use. The development of this new program will also introduce new data and analytics tools. Some of the initial areas that will benefit from data enhancements include hospital operations in bed capacity management, human resources, active asset management, supply chain and revenue cycle operations.
Partners HealthCare is an integrated health care system, founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, that offers patients a continuum of coordinated and high-quality care. In addition to its two academic medical centers, the system includes community and specialty hospitals, a health insurance plan, a physician network, community health centers, home health and long-term care services, and other health care entities. Partners is a non-profit organization that is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. In addition, Partners is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and is a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.