Partners launches expansive 5-year digital health innovation plan

The enterprise-wide effort, which comes as part of the Boston health system's larger five-year strategic plan and rebranding, is aimed at improving patient experience.
By Mike Miliard
03:12 PM

Partners HealthCare on Thursday announced a new five-year technology initiative designed to drive digital innovation, improve clinical care and enhance the patient experience.

WHY IT MATTERS
Partners officials say the program – as part of its five-year systemwide strategy and rebranding designed to position it as "health care system of the future" – will focus on digital innovations for diagnostics, therapeutics, medical devices, analytics and population health.

Patient engagement through leading-edge digital tools will be a key component of the effort, which will include advancements in online scheduling, telehealth and virtual care, access to clinical records through OpenNotes and easier options to see cost estimates for procedures and imaging.

The initiative will also work to improve interoperability and aggregation of medical records for Partners and non-Partners health care sites; lower wait times for all Partners Emergency Departments and Urgent Care centers and customize patient communication options, including text, email, call or direct mail, according to Partners officials.

The program will connect data and analytics professionals from across Partners sites, including Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's, building an enterprise data ecosystem to boost data management and use.

In addition to clinical applications, new analytics tools will be developed to focus on hospital operations, bed capacity management, human resources, active asset management, supply chain, revenue cycle and more.

THE LARGER TREND
Partners HealthCare – which earlier this month announced that it would rebrand, becoming Mass General Brigham – also includes several community and specialty hospitals in addition to its two flagship facilities. It also comprises an insurance plan, physician network, community health centers and long-term care services.

As principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Partners is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and has long been on the forefront of healthcare technology and data innovation.

ON THE RECORD
"As a health care system with two leading academic medical centers and the nation’s largest research enterprise, our clinicians and researchers are developing digital tools and care programs that are transforming medicine," said Dr. Alistair Erskine, chief digital health officer for Partners HealthCare. "This initiative will fuel early stage projects, provide the resources to test those projects and then more importantly, provide a structure to scale projects that allows us to expand access for patients across our health care system and beyond."

"Our patients want health care to operate like every other sector of our economy, and this initiative will help us to engage patients and ensure that they are getting the attention they need, when they need it," added Dr. Gregg Meyer, chief clinical officer at Partners HealthCare. "By leveraging data and technology, we can ensure that wherever patients are in our system, they can benefit from the expertise of our clinicians and access world-class care."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

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