Q&A: UW Prof on Whether Patient Portals Are Working as Designed
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push health systems across the country toward learning from each other. Who does what that is right and makes this work? What is the right model?
Right now, in this health system and many others, doctors get zero payments for e-mailing patients. I have another study coming up. [It’s] basically a modeling exercise [to determine] what the best way of paying doctors for these visits [is].
X: What do you think the findings of the study might suggest in terms of the larger picture with e-visits and telemedicine?
HB: Think about Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). People weren’t talking about online shopping until Amazon really materialized this concept in such a nice way. People weren’t talking about hailing cabs [online] until [companies] like Uber and Lyft materialized. They kind of figured out how to [do it].
I think of e-visits as the same. I’ve been working on this for a while with multiple health systems. There’s so many ways of interacting with your doctor remotely. There’s video interaction [and] real-time text interaction. There are remote monitoring devices. I think the big question is, “How can we figure this [telemedicine] thing out in a way that reduces healthcare costs, improves patient engagement and quality of care, and frees up doctors’ time?”