RelayHealth pilot at Microsoft

The Seattle Times has an article on the Microsoft/Premera/Virginia Mason/RelayHealth pilot of online doctor/patient messaging that has been discussed here before. Online messaging makes a lot of sense to avoid office visits and improve access to care without overburdening physicians with new tasks. However, sometimes plans have implemented online messaging while charging patients the same co-pay as for an office visit. That leads patients to use the phone instead –an inefficient but free mechanism. I was happy to read that this program isn’t charging any co-pays for webVisits.

Read more at iHealthBeat.

January 10, 2006

2 thoughts on “RelayHealth pilot at Microsoft”

  1. The lack of interoperability between systems struck me as a real problem. This line especially stuck out for me: “Virginia Mason will have to input online information manually into patients’electronic records because the two systems [Mason’s and Premera Blue Cross’s] are not compatible, said Marnee ISeman, Virginia Mason vice president for ambulatory services.

  2. That’s an interesting point. I know that RelayHealth does interoperate with most widely used EMR systems using HL7 interfaces, so that secure doctor-patient messages become part of the patient’s medical record. RelayHealth has interfaces up and running at a number of other client installations that I know of, so I’m sure they would be able to do likewise at Virginia Mason if asked. Not sure why it isn’t happening…

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