On Aug. 7 I wrote a news item about a California pilot project involving a cloud-based electronic registry for Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) to make sure that information is available when needed during emergencies or when a patient is unable to communicate. Now comes an announcement of a partnership between a personal health record vendor and an advanced care planning service to make that information more readily available.
The two companies working together are Rockville, Md.-based Get Real Health, creator of the patient engagement platform InstantPHR and the data aggregation and development platform CHBase, and Dallas, Texas-based ADVault Inc., developer of MyDirectives, an app that lets consumers place critical emergency health information in front of the lock-screen on the iPhone in conjunction with Apple Health and its Medical ID program released with the i0S8 platform.
Health systems using the InstantPHR platform include MedStar Health, New York Presbyterian, and NYC Health & Hospitals.
The companies say that making MyDirectives available through InstantPHR empowers healthcare consumers to easily and quickly share vital information with doctors about who can speak for them during a health crisis if they cannot communicate, in addition to their medical treatment goals, preferences and priorities. Having real-time access to a person’s MyDirectives plan enables medical teams to make better decisions within the context of patients’ directives. Consumers can record their thoughts about medical treatments, palliative and hospice care, organ donation and autopsy, and other critical personal information on the device and in the format that is most convenient and comfortable for them.
“Offering MyDirectives to our customers makes our suite of health management and patient engagement tools even stronger for our clients around the globe,” said Get Real Health President Robin Wiener, in a prepared statement. “Imagine what this means for patients, their families and healthcare providers. None of us know where we might be if we have an accident. MyDirectives assures people that their advance planning and care directives can be found in a crisis. We selected the MyDirectives platform for its interoperability, compliance with important new advance care planning standards and its global footprint.”
ADVault President and Co-Founder Scott Brown noted that a digital advance care plan works better than legalistic, paper-based advance directives to improve quality of care, especially when providers have access to both the patient’s wishes and the full medical history, all in one place.
ADVault was recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for becoming one of the first small businesses to reach full Blue Button compatibility, which allows consumers to easily, quickly and securely download their healthcare records. MyDirectives is also the first and only advance care planning platform to receive "meaningful use" certification from HHS, the company said.
Get Real Health was profiled by Healthcare Informatics as an “Up and Comer” company in 2014. At the time CEO Mark Heaney said one thing that differentiates its platform is the focus on patients, rather than clinician workflow. “Part of it comes from having a background in consumer applications rather than clinical world,” he said. “We think in terms of what patients want to do. We are not tied into billing and scheduling systems. What we focus on is giving patients tools to manage their health and do behavior change and impact outcomes,” he explained. “We provide them with plans of care that a doctor can give them and have information reported. We connect to a lot of devices, so that data can flow to their doctors,” he says. “We have a lot of alerts and reminders. It is about their health and not about their relationship to the healthcare system.”