THE WOODLANDS, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than 250,000 cancer patients across the nation are now using McKesson Specialty Health’s secure online patient portal, My Care Plus, to take a more active role in their healthcare. This groundbreaking oncology-specific portal provides patients convenient 24-hour access to personal health information, reputable educational cancer resources, and useful information about their condition and care. Additionally, it enables them to securely interact with their healthcare team from any device, anywhere, strengthening the patient-provider relationship and increasing patient satisfaction across all touch points.
“It's not easy to ask your doctor or nurse questions regarding your care and not feel you are unnecessarily imposing on their time and goodwill,” said Jeff Viles, a lymphoma patient in remission at Missouri Cancer Associates. “My Care Plus solves that by allowing me to describe symptoms, relay information I've read in the media or ask questions about my specific case without inhibition. I know they will respond as soon as possible, and that valuable physician-patient communication will take place. It's as if you can have a quick chat about something that might have gone unnoticed.”
In addition to empowering convenient, secure online communication with providers, this feature-rich patient portal puts a wealth of valuable oncology-specific information at patients’ fingertips, helping them make informed choices. Missouri Cancer Associates patient Lisa Allen noted, “I used the portal for some research on the best foods to eat for my type of cancer. It was very helpful. My daughter even used one of the recipes to make a meal for me after one of my treatments. I found lots of food suggestions that really helped me get through the times when nothing sounded good or when I was not sure what I should eat,” she explained.
My Care Plus accesses patient health information directly from iKnowMedSM EHR or iKnowMed Generation 2 electronic health record solutions. Patients can quickly and easily view their own health records on the portal and track their progress: “I know my oncologist sees my lab results and discusses them with me each time I see him,” said patient Jeff Viles, “but with My Care Plus, I can look up the results myself within a day or two to see what is good, bad or fair about my counts. I keep my own running list of the most important counts, allowing me to tell if a side effect is stable. This is very comforting as time goes on.”
Patient Lisa Allen agrees that the ability to access records is very useful: “I often review the Visit Summaries and Care Plan in my records,” she said. “The information is nice to have for reference, for instance, to keep track of my weight gain and my blood pressure.”
While My Care Plus provides many benefits to patients, it also gives oncology practices a valuable tool that drives efficient, patient-centric quality care, builds patient loyalty, and helps fulfill Stage 1 and 2 Meaningful Use requirements. Customized, user-friendly tools enable practices to educate, engage and empower patients to become their own healthcare advocate, helping them to be more involved in their own care. It also supports more efficient staff utilization, as many patient activities, questions and interactions can be handled efficiently online with minimal staff involvement.
“The My Care Plus portal can be tied to the success we are having with our Patient Support Services nurse who does preemptive phone calls to patients,” said Molly Wozniczka, EMR Coordinator from Minnesota Oncology. “Our nurse can quickly recap the entire phone conversation in a written form for patients. This has been quite beneficial, especially for patients’ proxies who are already signed-up to view their family member’s portal, since they can go in and review exactly what was discussed with the team. This ensures everybody is completely on board and understands what the recommendations were for the patient and exactly what was discussed. They don’t need to call us to get the information, which saves valuable nursing time that can be spent helping other patients.”
With My Care Plus, communicating with patients, family members and caregivers has never been easier for providers. Practices can efficiently send reminders about upcoming appointments, notify patients of important clinic events such as vaccination programs, screenings and other preventative care measures, announce changes in office hours or policies, and promote wellness programs and various health-related activities to encourage further engagement. Patients and their care team can also stay in touch between visits through the Message Center which enables patients to send secure online messages to their providers for non-urgent matters, offering another level of care and support. As new care delivery models evolve across the healthcare landscape that require more patient involvement, My Care Plus can play a vital role in helping providers develop a strong patient engagement strategy that encourages patients to participate in improving their own health.
“More and more patients today are tech savvy and want to actively self-manage their healthcare,” said Dan Lodder, vice president & general manager of Technology Solutions, Information & Technology Services, McKesson Specialty Health. “My Care Plus gives them the ability to do that while delivering a superior user experience. We are extremely pleased that this innovative portal has reached the key milestone of impacting more than 250,000 oncology patients across the nation, supporting them on their cancer journey and enabling them to take a more active role in their own care.”
About McKesson Specialty Health
McKesson Specialty Health, a division of McKesson Corporation, empowers the community patient care delivery system by helping community practices advance the science, technology and quality of care. Through innovative clinical, research, business and operational solutions, facilitated by integrated technology systems, we focus on improving the financial health of our customers so they may provide the best care to their patients. For more information, visit www.mckessonspecialtyhealth.com.