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Your Health: How instant access to your health records improves your care

Technology is giving doctors better ways to keep up with patient needs.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Most of us think of our primary care physician as the person who spearheads our health care. But think about the other times you’re in front of another doctor, maybe at a specialist’s visit for your knee or back or even an unexpected hospital stay. Sometimes, it takes days, weeks, or longer before your PCP gets vital health information. Now, there’s a new tool that gives PCPs the information they need to help keep patients healthy.

How often do you see your PCP? For most of us, it’s a once-a-year wellness check.

Family physician at Central Ohio Primary Care, Dr. Kristin Oaks, says “Primary care physicians need to be the quarterback of the team, and they can't be the quarterback of the team if they don't have the data.”

For years, doctors have been able to monitor a patient’s healthcare progress through electronic health records. Now, a new technology program called Physician Insights uses artificial intelligence to track a patient’s health outside of their exam room.

The Insights tool, created by Agilon Health, measures not only how often PCPs are doing wellness visits, but how often they check in with chronically ill patients, note the rates of recommended cancer screenings, and follow up with patients on post-hospitalization visits.

It’s important information to have at a doctor’s fingertips.

As many as 14 percent of all patients who are hospitalized are readmitted within 30 days, at an average readmission cost of over $15,000.

“But there’s very good data to suggest that patients that are high risk for readmission will benefit from getting into the office in a timely fashion, within several days,” Preferred Primary Care Physicians of Pittsburgh doctor, Dr. Lou CIvitarese, explains.

This is a technology that helps primary care physicians track the best and healthiest outcomes, especially for their senior patients.

The Insights program has been adopted by more than a dozen community health practices across the country. Insight can also be used as a teaching tool to coach physicians since it provides feedback on how PCPs are meeting patient care standards.

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Denise Hnytka at denise.hnytka@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.

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