St Lukes Awarded 1.5 Million to Improve Access to Electronic Medical Information
St. Luke's Awarded $1.5 Million to Improve Community Access to Electronic Medical Information
eVantage Health Program to Provide Patients' Records at Fingertips
Bethlehem, PA. (August 24, 2012) – As part of a vision to improve overall health to the residents of the Lehigh Valley region, St. Luke's University Health Network has undertaken the enormous task of creating a Health Information Exchange (HIE) to integrate independent medical records into a central database. As part of the process, the network was one of four HIEs in Pennsylvania to receive $1.5 million from the statewide HIE Network.
St. Luke’s is among the leaders in the initiative to create a statewide HIE network.
eVantage Health - Suite of Internet-enabled Tools
The St. Luke's HIE, called eVantage Health, is a suite of Internet-enabled tools and services for patients. This private and secure online service is expected to increase patient convenience and satisfaction, boost physician and staff efficiency and ultimately enhance quality of care.
The HIE database will start with St. Luke's six hospitals, the St. Luke's Physician Group and affiliated providers, representing more than 150 practices and 400 providers. Community providers from a variety of health care settings will begin to participate after the initial data is downloaded.
With the launch of eVantage Health, patients will be able to access medical records online, including laboratory and radiology results from St. Luke's. In addition, patients can access their medications, problem lists, and visit notes from participating providers, discharge summaries from inpatient stays at a St. Luke's Hospital and Emergency Department notes from an Emergency Department visit at a St. Luke's Hospital. Also, patients can complete registration, medical history and insurance change forms electronically.
In the near future, patients will have access to advanced features, including the ability to communicate with participating providers through secure messaging, have an eVisit – an online consultation – with their doctor, track their health history and find links to relevant information about conditions.
These capabilities are expected to save valuable minutes during scheduled appointments, and give the physician more time to focus on diagnosing the problem, planning the course of treatment and discussing the patient's concerns.
Improved Interactive Communication Between Patients and Clinicians
“eVantage Health is an important factor in increasing efficiency of operations. The ability for patients to take care of routine tasks online can save everyone – patients, doctors and staff – from innumerable telephone calls, ‘phone tag,’ and ‘voice mail jail,' ” adds Chad Brisendine, Vice President, St. Luke's Information Technology.
In addition, to assist patients in interpreting their health information, eVantage Health is designed to integrate with Healthwise® content, evidence-based medical information that helps clarify the nature of conditions, test or lab results, or therapies at the time it is presented. This gives patients the appropriate context to better understand their health information and provides clinicians with a protocol of the highest standard of care / treatment for those conditions.
“The HIE will be used to improve health care outcomes and decrease cost associated with providing the best care possible to each patient,” said Joel Fagerstrom, Chief Operating Officer, St. Luke's University Health Network. “Providers will have access to more patient information, patients will have access to their records and the interactive communication between clinicians and patients will vastly improve.”
To address issues of privacy and security, St. Luke's requires patients to register prior to their first use of eVantage Health. Unlike regular e-mail, all eVantage Health communications between patients and providers are encrypted and sent across a secure virtual private network (VPN).
Media Relations Director
St. Luke's University Health Network