Healthgrades debuts chat platform to link patients, doctors between visits

CareChats enables conversations with patients about their condition management, provides encouragement and education, and sets health goals.
By Bill Siwicki
11:50 AM
Healthgrades debuts chat platform to link patients, doctors between visits

Healthgrades, an online resource for information on physicians and hospitals, has debuted Healthgrades CareChats, a digital health system that enables patients and caregivers to communicate between face-to-face visits.

CareChats was created in partnership with Conversa, a healthcare communications company. The system provides hospitals and caregivers a text message- and email-based system in a chatbot conversational experience. CareChats initiates conversations with enrolled patients about their condition management, provides encouragement and education, sets health goals and tracks progress, Healthgrades said.

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CareChats currently is available for chronic condition management, pre- and post-surgery, lifestyle health coaching, and personal development. CareChats integrates with the Healthgrades CRM platform, giving hospitals and health systems data insights to connect with and interact with patients most likely to benefit from using the system. It also engages caregivers automatically when intervention is required and encourages patients to book an appointment online or call the office directly.

“Most consumers see their doctor a few times per year, but between these visits, a lot of life happens,” said Brad Bowman, MD, chief medical officer at Healthgrades. “Communicating with patients between visits really gives providers a glimpse into their lives – about who they are, where they live and how they live. CareChats is a significant step forward in clinical communication that will help better educate, engage, support and motivate patients to achieve better health, using a conversational approach.”

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In one pilot program, Ochsner Health System identified patients who had uncontrolled hypertension and trained primary care physicians at their system to “prescribe” CareChats to these patients. Participants logged into their secure Ochsner patient portal to begin using CareChats. In real time, CareChats gave patients the option to pull in their personal medical information to tailor their conversation.

“Patients are avoiding unnecessary and time-consuming visits, so participation in this program has a natural incentive,” said Rich Milani, MD, chief transformation officer at Ochsner Health System. “This technology is valuable to patients and to our system as a whole, and has given us the ability to build even stronger relationships with our patients.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
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