SEATTLE – An electronic reminder system has boosted Hepatitis C screenings for Swedish Medical Group patients from 12% to 51% and earned the health care provider an Award of Excellence from population health management organization Qualis Health.
The group hopes to expand the reminder program to its entire patient portal and beyond, with the goal of raising the number of screenings even higher.
“Our motto is, ‘Make it easy to do the right thing,’” said Claire Allen, program administrator at Swedish Medical Group, a health care system with five campuses in the Seattle area that’s affiliated with Providence Health & Services. “Anything we can do to make our patients’ lives better is worth trying.”
As part of the system, when baby boomer-age patients visit their physician, an electronic reminder pops up on the provider’s computer that the patient is eligible for a Hepatitis C screening.
Allen said the reminder system was a simple technology to incorporate into the provider’s system, and it’s something that can be added to other technologies like the patient portal, text alerts to patients and home health care platforms.
“I think it’s all about the fact that patients are receiving more reliable care wherever they are,” said Allen.
Qualis Health honored health care organizations from across Washington this month for their achievements in improving health care quality and outcomes. Swedish Medical Group, which was the first provider in the Pacific Northwest to offer virtual physician visits for non-emergency symptoms, was recognized in the outpatient category.
“Patients, purchasers and policy makers are increasingly focused on value, and are demanding a system that delivers better care, spends dollars in a smarter way and improves overall community health,” said Dr. Jonathan Sugarman, president and CEO of Qualis Health, in a statement.
The award to SMG recognized the provider’s efforts to “transform care for their community and make a real difference for patients and families,” he said.