Title of this post is the title of a session I’ll be moderating at the upcoming AHRQ conference to be held in Bethesda, MD from Sept 13-16. If you’ve been thinking of attending this free conference (its put on by the feds) you’ll have to register soon for as of yesterday the event was almost sold-out.
Having been to this conference twice, the event is primarily structured to serve as a forum for AHRQ grant sponsored researchers. Researchers present findings, AHRQ presents future funding priorities, initiatives, and even basic guidelines to successful writing successful grant proposals. While much of what I have heard has been, how shall I say it diplomatically – “academic” every now and then one does get some valuable insight on some aspect of the effectiveness of HIT adoption.
In a departure from the typical format, AHRQ will have the track, PHRs, What are They Good for?, with participants on the panel not AHRQ grant recipients, but people knowledgeable in the subject matter and include:
James Hereford, Group Health Cooperative
Kim D. Slocum, KDS Consulting, LLC
Ted Eytan, The Permanente Federation, LLC
Now my task for this session is to first provide some introductory comments and give a “market status update” for the audience. That’s the easy part. The tougher task is keeping the audience awake and engaged as this session is n that deadly time spot, right after lunch on Monday. Now there is only one way I know of to keep an audience from sleeping after lunch and that is to have an active, lively discussion among the panelists, insure they deliver some thought provoking messages and get the audience involved.
Now a request to you, particularly those who have clear quantifiable evidence of “what PHRs are good for”.
I need your feedback on what you have seen or experienced in the deployment and use of PHRs, whether it is sponsored within the context of an employer wellness program, a payer’s efforts to get members more proactively involved in managing their health and the health of loved ones, or within the clinical setting, what have you seen, what is working, what is not.
To get you thinking, following are a series of questions that I have asked Ted Eytan, who works for Kaiser-Permanente who have one of the best PHR programs today.
What is the breakdown of populations/demographics that actually use the KP PHR? Is it just the worried well, or Mothers? Are their any conclusions that can be drawn?
To what extent due specific sub-groups use, or not use the PHR, e.g. are there any racial or socio/economic disparities? What is KP doing today to minimize disparities and insure broader participation?
What about Chronic Disease grps? Has KP found that patients with certain chronic diseases lend themselves to greater PHR use? If yes, what are they?
Reflect on the role of the physician in encouraging adoption and use of a PHR? Does consumer use require a a lot of guidance and encouragement? What tricks has KP learned along the way to encourage broader adoption and use?
How has KP embedded the use of PHRs into physician workflow and driven adoption and use by the physician (that is assuming that KP allows the patient to add comments/notes to their PHR)?
The transition from acute to outpatient care is fraught with challenges and data drops. How has KP used the PHR to minimize such? And on a related note, how does the KP PHR accept clinical data from systems outside of the KP network (not sure it even does that today)?
Hopefully, Ted will be able to get some answers to these questions as one may be able to infer from the answers the answer to the over-riding question: PHRs, what are they good for?
In addition to commenting on your own experiences regarding the value proposition for PHRs, if you have any specific questions to contribute, would love to hear them. Sure, I have a list as long as my arm, but that doesn’t mean there may be something I totally missed, so please have at it.
Looking forward to your input.