Leading health systems Providence St. Joseph Health and UPMC
First to go live with new feature to improve patient convenience and care
Seattle-based healthcare startup Xealth, along with two of its health system partners UPMC and PSJH, today announced the launch of the ability for doctors to digitally send patients over the counter (OTC) product recommendations to help them recover faster and stay healthy.
Today, doctors recommend OTC products (ice packs, knee braces, etc.) to patients manually – providing print outs, handwritten notes on scraps of paper, verbally, or by copy/pasting links.
Xealth’s technology allows physicians to recommend OTC items, digital apps, educational content, and services for patients right from their Electronic Medical Record (EMR). Patients can access this list of items securely inside their health system portal and then choose to buy from Amazon or other retailers. This reduces physician time, increases accuracy, and provides a much-improved, convenient method for patients to get the care they need to get better.
- The Xealth platform helps to improve the accuracy, efficiency and consistency of care – patients get exactly what they need when they need it.
- The process of recommending products and services is “one-click.” Doctors can be consistent and efficient when providing care.
- PSJH and UPMC are the first health systems to go live with Xealth’s service. PSJH is incorporating it into its Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute, UPMC into maternity and orthopedic care.
- This is another step in Xealth’s journey to extend healthcare outside the walls of an exam room.
- Using Xealth, health systems can quickly deploy product recommendations at scale to help patients.
- This technology uses open APIs from retailers that are publicly available. Consumers will have a choice of which retailers to purchase from.
- Xealth ensures that absolutely no patient identifying information or personal health data is exchanged between the health system and the retailer.
- If a patient does not have access to a smart phone or email, the recommendations can be printed at the point of care.
- The patient and clinician can, of course, opt to not use the service. It is used completely at the clinician’s and patient’s discretion.
- Recommending OTC products fulfilled by online retailers is just the latest development of the Xealth platform, which also enables clinicians to recommend digital services, apps, and relevant content.
- Patients love the convenience.
- Healthcare providers love that they’re providing more comprehensive care.
Examples of OTC Items That Can Be Recommended
- Orthopedics: Doctors can proactively suggest items relevant to the patient’s procedure, so they are on-hand when the patient returns home.
— Post knee surgery: Ice pack/wrap, raised toilet seat, shower chair, cast covers, etc.
— Post shoulder surgery: Theraband, door pulley, light weights, etc.
— Post fracture: Knee scooter, forearm crutches, waterproof cast padding, etc.
— Post soft tissue injury: Tennis/golfer’s elbow strap, heel cups, orthotics, etc.
- Maternity: Xealth significantly reduces the amount of back and forth between expectant moms and clinicians, saving time.
— Body pillow, maternity belt, compression socks, blood pressure cuff, etc.
- Future Examples
— Pediatrics: Baby vitamin D drops, breast pump, anti-colic bottles, breastfeeding pillow<
— Primary Care: Healthy food cookbooks, humidifiers, back support pillow
— Dermatology: Cortisone cream, hypoallergenic bath products, acne treatment, sunblock
Why does this matter?
This new feature makes it more convenient to recommend items, and for patients to purchase those products. This reduces potential confusion over which items to buy, and physicians can save time and improve the patient experience.
Is this a partnership with Amazon? What about other ecommerce vendors?
No. This technology uses publicly available APIs to conduct transactions. Some patients may prefer to bring the list of recommended items to a retailer of their choice. Ultimately it will be up to the patient to choose their preferred retailer.
Why is Xealth uniquely able to pull this off?
Xealth’s technology makes the interaction seamless between the clinician’s EMR and the patient’s portal app.
Why is this launching at PSJH and UPMC first?
Xealth is a spin out from PSJH and the company’s first two customers are PSJH and UPMC, both committed to innovative models of care and investors in Xealth.
Are health systems getting paid for this? Will Xealth be paid by Amazon?
No. The priority of this technology is to remove the friction doctors can experience when recommending OTC products that can easily be purchased online.
What about patient privacy?
One of the key advantages of Xealth is that no PHI is transferred between the health system and ecommerce vendors. This is good for everyone.
“We created Xealth with the mission to vastly improve physician efficiency and patient experiences. Amazon product prescribing represents the best of that vision. By digitizing clinical workflows, we reduce the friction patients feel when buying recommended products for their care.”
Mike McSherry, CEO and co-founder of Xealth
“Doctors know it’s tough to find the right healthcare videos or behavior-change app, or to pick up the crutches and bandages needed. When patients are sick, we want to make their lives easier. Xealth helps make healthcare a bit less complicated.”
Amy Compton-Phillips, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, PSJH
“Xealth is improving the connection between patients and clinicians. Once again, we are extending the patient and physician relationship outside the walls of a traditional care setting by making it easy for clinicians to recommend more than just the necessary medications. We’re making it easier and more convenient for them to make recommendations – which is what they do everyday today – by using digital tools instead of using handouts, paper, etc.”
Aaron Martin, Executive Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, PSJH
“Technology is key to improving cost, quality and convenience in healthcare. Thanks to our partnership with Xealth, we can save time for our clinicians and empower patients to get the right products for their care.”
Tal Heppenstall, President, UPMC Enterprises
“We’re excited about this pilot. It is another way to ensure our patients are getting the care they need. In orthopedics, it can be confusing for patients to know which braces or devices are really the ones that will improve their symptoms and help them heal. And, it can be difficult for clinicians, like myself, to ensure that they are communicating their advice in a way that patients will remember and act upon. This venture brings those two together by providing a digital link between doctor and patient to ultimately get them back on their feet.”
Dr. Charles Young, Facey Medical Group/PSJH
Demo of Xealth solution available upon request
Xealth enables healthcare teams to order digital content and services as easily as they do medications today. Patients can then access these digital health prescriptions from the provider’s portal, so that they can actively manage their health. Based in Seattle, the company was founded by the team of serial entrepreneurs behind Swype, the innovative keyboard that shipped on over one billion phones, and Boost Mobile, now Sprint’s prepaid mobile service generating over $5 billion in revenue. Using the Xealth platform, care teams and physicians can monitor patient engagement and analyze the effects of more engaged patients.
About Providence St. Joseph Health
Providence St. Joseph Health is committed to improving the health of the communities it serves, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. With 51 hospitals, 829 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and many other health and educational services, the health system and its partners employ 119,000 caregivers (employees) serving communities across seven states—Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington.
A $19 billion world-renowned health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. UPMC provides more than $900 million a year in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution. The largest non-governmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates 85,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 600 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a 3.4 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. As UPMC works in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside on its annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals. UPMC Enterprises functions as the innovation and commercialization arm of UPMC, and UPMC International provides hands-on health care and management services with partners around the world. For more information, go to UPMC.com.