Digital Health Done Right is a Redox Blog Series that shines a light on a member of our interoperable network. We believe in what our partners are doing and want to share their stories and outcomes with you.
When communities grow, they develop ways to help residents keep track of information that begins to scatter: phone books, activity schedules, resident directories, and almanacs among other things. Some of these methods have become obsolete, but these catalogs were born from the need to organize, systematize, and make information readily available to those who need it.
Beyond community organization, every profession and industry develop ways to keep track of its moving parts, and this holds true for the field of medicine—though caregivers have been recording patient interactions, prescriptions, and treatment plans long before modern technology, EHRs have become the new standard for keeping medical care organized.
While EHRs help health systems stay organized internally, they do little to help clinicians track, organize, and access technology outside of their system. This can be a problem when it comes to referring patients to other hospitals and specialists, as clinicians need to be aware of what resources within the community are available to patients in order to provide the right care. Without thorough and accurate knowledge of what help is out there, clinicians may refer patients to the wrong specialist, leading to unnecessary complications, delay of healing, and waste of health system resources.
Connecting Communities through NowPow
The widespread need to provide clinicians with an accurate list of outside resources is why NowPow exists. Their software aggregates community resources into an up-to-date and comprehensive list so care providers can connect patients to the right people to help them address all sorts of chronic health and social conditions. This ability, while seemingly simple, gives care providers the power to expand the scope of their care and deliver the best possible treatment plans to patients.
Awareness of resources is the key to actually utilizing them, and within one program, NowPow allows care providers to see all available local health specialists, current community fitness class schedules, the locations and hours of family planning clinics, and so much more. Continuously updated by an in-house team, NowPow’s database can be accessed and updated by clinicians, too. NowPow also lets care providers create a resource listing, called a HealtheRx, that contains details on a resource's location, services, specialists, and hours. This referral description can then be sent to patients directly via text or email to brief them on where they'll be continuing treatment and with whom.
More Than a Database
Closing the loop on communication, NowPow also allows the care provider who created the referral to contact the resource to which they were referred. This functionality helps care teams know whether or not patients are following through with outside appointments and staying true to their care plan. Both the primary caregiver and the outside referral resource can use a functionality called Nudge to help remind patients to go to appointments or take treatment actions. All these features help care providers ensure that patients are doing what they need in order to get healthier, and helps reduce time spent on communicating, coordinating, and documenting care.
Beyond a resource database, NowPow offers a bi-directional communication platform that allows both patients and providers to send and be alerted of messages in real-time. Their patient engagement timeline functionality also records all interactions throughout the care journey so that every provider on the care team can stay informed of how a patient is progressing.
NowPow, Powered by Redox
NowPow uses Redox to integrate their application with EHRs used at hospitals and clinics. By integrating into the same system used by clinicians, NowPow’s application can function as part of the same referral workflow clinicians use. There’s no need to log communications between providers, record attendance for outside appointments, or double document referrals—by documenting it within NowPow, that information is automatically filed into the EHR in real time, allowing care providers to view the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on a patient’s care journey.
NowPow is a powerful application that helps clinicians and care providers stay aware of what community resources they can tap into to augment care. They don’t have to look anything up, spend time Googling and sifting through specialists, or wonder if something is even available within the area. The fact that NowPow enables clinicians to talk to outside resources makes their platform all the more valuable, as it truly closes gaps in the care loop.
As of June 2017, NowPow is being used at health systems across three communities and has helped generate thousands of referrals to community resources. Their reach is only growing, and we’re proud to integrate their platform and have them as partners in our interoperable network.
For more on NowPow and all that they do, check out their website here.