Geisinger, Merck partner on patient engagement

By Bernie Monegain
10:42 AM

Geisinger Health System and Merck have embarked on a multi-year collaboration to develop new methods and technology to spur shared decision making between patients and physicians and to improve adherence to treatment plans and clinical care processes.

First up is the development of 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.

“We believe that healthcare is most effective when patients are active partners in their care,” said Glenn Steele Jr., MD, president and chief executive officer of Geisinger Health System. “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.”

Teams from Geisinger and Merck will work together 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.

“When you have two leading healthcare companies that share a commitment to improve health outcomes and are focused on fundamental problems that have plagued the healthcare system for years, the results have the potential to be transformative," said Mark Timney, Merck's president of Global Human Health – U.S. Market. "We're excited about the opportunity to work with Geisinger to address these critical areas."

The Web application and other care management solutions that Merck and Geisinger develop will initially be tested within the Geisinger system. Geisinger has been at the forefront of the development of innovative healthcare delivery models focused on improving adherence and developing methods to better engage patients. Merck has conducted scientific research to better understand the drivers of non-adherence and develop evidence-based interventions.

”A rapid learning process will be used to integrate, evaluate and improve the performance of each solution in primary care clinical settings," said Steele. "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.”