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Merck, Geisinger Team on Patient Engagement

June 18, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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Pharmaceutical giant Merck (Whitehouse Station, N.J.) is teaming with the Geisinger Health System (Danville, Penn.) to create health IT programs that improve patient adherence to treatment plans and clinical care processes.

 “We believe that healthcare is most effective when patients are active partners in their care,” Glenn Steele Jr., M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Geisinger Health System, said in a statement. “Our collaboration with Merck will allow both organizations to leverage our individual expertise and joint resources to improve patient engagement, including finding new interventions to increase the likelihood that patients will adhere to their treatment plans.”

The two companies will develop tools that aim to improve patient adherence, increase the role of patients in making decisions to help manage their conditions, share information among extended care teams, and improve clinical care processes. The first tool being developed is an interactive web application designed to help primary care clinicians assess and engage patients at risk for cardiometabolic syndrome. Cardiometabolic syndrome is a clustering of various risk factors that put an individual at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The web application and other care management solutions that Merck and Geisinger develop will initially be tested within the Geisinger system.”A rapid learning process will be used to integrate, evaluate and improve the performance of each solution in primary care clinical settings," Dr. Steele said. "We will closely monitor patient acceptance, treatment adherence, and other metrics to determine which tools and solutions have the ability to improve patient care and are ready to be deployed on a broader scale.”

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