Tag Archives: vendor news

Healthcare Reform Paper: The Case for Publicly Funded Medical Call Centers

Doctors Barton Schmitt and Andrew Hertz have recently completed a position paper regarding the role of medical call centers in health care reform.  “The impetus for the paper,” explained Schmitt, “was largely because I have not heard anyone in government mention telephone care as part of their solution.”  Medical call centers are used in many other countries and have been found to be cost-effective, yet in the U.S., only New Mexico has implemented a publicly funded call center for all of their state’s uninsured.

The position paper, titled The Case for Publicly Funded Medical Call Centers, offers as a premise that, “every citizen should have the right to reach a telephone care nurse at any hour day or night for assistance with illnesses, injuries or other acute medical problems.”  Its content describes the primary functions of today’s medical call centers, an overview of their outcomes, evidence of their ability to reduce healthcare costs and recommendations for making these centers a critical part of universal access to health care.

For a copy of the three-page document with references contact sue@stcc-triage.com.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Swine Flu Update For Call Centers and Triage Nurses

In April and early May 2009, Drs. Barton Schmitt and David Thompson released interim protocols regarding exposure to the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, known more commonly as swine flu.  “The clinical presentation and what we know about this virus continues to evolve,” states Dr. Thompson.  “Dr. Schmitt and I have worked together to create both an adult and pediatric telephone triage guideline, ‘Swine Flu Exposure – Interim,’ for use in medical call centers.  We have updated the information once already, recognizing that as the CDC’s recommendations evolve, we may have to modify the exposure protocols again in the upcoming weeks.”

The new guidelines have been released to Schmitt-Thompson software partners for distribution to their medical call center clients.  Additional resources are also available on the industry resources page of the Schmitt-Thompson Clinical Content Website and include:

  • Clinical update for telephone triage nurses (May 2009 newsletter), and
  • AAP telephone lines (April 2009- special edition) released by Drs. Barton Schmitt and Andrew Hertz to assist telephone triage nurses with swine flu-related pediatric calls.

Learn more about Schmitt-Thompson Clinical Content.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Self Care Decisions Releases Pediatric SymptomMD

Self Care Decisions released Pediatric SymptomMD, an iPhone/iPod touch application, designed to answer parent’s questions regarding children’s symptoms.  The pediatric care guides are developed by Barton Schmitt, MD, FAAP a practicing pediatrician and professor of Pediatrics at Denver Children’s Hospital.  Schmitt is the author of the clinical protocols published and distributed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and used by 10,000 physician practices and 400 nurse call lines, used on 150 million symptom calls.

“Pediatricians and parents alike want to provide a speedy recovery, whether that means home remedies or a trip to their doctor’s office,” Dr. Schmitt explained.

Parents can navigate three quick steps to:

  • Identify their child’s symptoms
  • Decide if they need to Call 911, go to the emergency department, call their doctor, or manage the symptoms at home
  • Access self-care instructions for symptom relief, if appropriate.

With the iPhone application, parents can immediately connect with 911, their child’s physician, or locate the closest emergency or urgent care facility.

Pediatric SymptomMD is available through iTunes App Store for $1.99.  The full age range product, SymptomMD, is $2.99.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Parallax Technologies Presents First Contact Resolution Webinar with Rob McDougall

First contact resolution has a big impact on every call center.  In today’s economy it is more important than ever to present solutions that return hard dollars to your call center.  By understanding why people call you, what causes unnecessary repeat calls, and where there are improvement opportunities in processes or training, you can prove value to your operation by decreasing “revenue leakage” and increasing caller satisfaction.

Join First Contact Resolution expert Rob McDougall for an informative hour to provide an understanding of the basics of what FCR could mean to you.

The webinar will be Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 2:05 pm EST.  Register online at www2.gotomeeting.com/register/917955266.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Jabra GN9120 Battery Recall

GN Netcom announced a voluntarily recall of Lithium-ion batteries, from ATL, that are used in GN9120 wireless headsets and sold from January 2005 through September 2008.

These lithium-ion polymer batteries can overheat due to an internal short circuit in the batteries, which can pose a fire hazard.  The battery has only been used in the GN9120 wireless headset.  If you are using any other headset solution from GN Netcom you are not affected by this statement.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Vocantas US Operations Meets Demand for Patient Monitoring

Vocantas president and CEO Gary Hannah announced the appointment of Catherine Blum as director of customer relations.  Blum joins head of US operations Roger Shindell in bringing the CallAssure service to home health care agencies, where improved patient safety is always a priority.

“There is a great opportunity for home health care agencies to improve the way they communicate with their patients,” said Shindell.  “And improved communications can lead to a more efficient use of time, money, and resources.”  Vocantas uses computer telephony and speech technologies to automate routine telephone communications with interactive voice response (IVR) solutions.  This increased communication improves patient clinical outcomes and increases compliance.

“Patients appreciate the direct link to their healthcare provider,” said Blum.  “All they have to do is pick up the phone; then they can get on with enjoying their day.  The check-up call gives patients an extra boost of assurance, and reinforces the messages that they receive from their health care providers.”

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital Researchers Selects Vocantas for Clinical Research Study

Vocantas Inc., developer of voice solutions for healthcare, has been selected by Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) to help researchers assess the impact of automated telephone follow-up systems on the management of patients on commonly prescribed medications.  Using interactive voice response (IVR) and speech technology, the Vocantas’s CallAssure system enables healthcare providers to evaluate real time patient data.  Study researchers believe that this proactive outreach may facilitate communication between patients and their physicians.

Leading the project is researcher Jennifer Haas, MD, MSPH, at BWH’s Division of General Medicine.  Dr. Haas has studied on the use of technology to improve the quality and safety of patient care, as well as access to care, particularly among the poor and uninsured.

“After three weeks of pilot test calls, the system is functioning well,” says Haas.  “We are looking forward to implementing the technology in our trial to quickly and effectively reach participants and to manage the data efficiently.”

Supporting HL7 standards, the CallAssure system automatically records any symptoms the patient is experiencing in a note, which is then attached to the patient’s electronic medical record.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Intel Announces First Home Medical Device to Connect Clinicians with Patients

Intel Corporation announced a care management tool designed for health care professionals who manage patients with chronic conditions.  Called Health Guide, it is initial offering of personal health systems that go beyond the simple remote patient monitoring systems available today.

The Intel Health Guide, which received 510(k) market clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July, is a comprehensive personal health system that combines an in-home patient device (the Intel Health Guide PHS6000) and an online interface (the Intel Health Care Management Suite), allowing clinicians to remotely monitor patients and manage care.

“The Health Guide is a step forward in offering more personalized and effective management of chronic health conditions in the home,” said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of the Intel Digital Health Group.  “Intel has spent years researching the needs of both caregivers and patients, and we are now moving to launch a series of products that will help extend care from the hospital to the home.”

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Roger Shindell & Carole LaPorte Join Vocantas

Vocantas Inc. President and CEO Gary Hannah announced the appointment of Roger Shindell as president of the company’s U.S. operation, Vocantas Ltd.  Shindell will focus initially on addressing the high demand for remote care delivery in home healthcare agencies where Vocantas’ technologies can offer a great deal of relief.  “With senior populations exploding, home healthcare agencies are now facing a tipping point,” said Shindell.  “I am very excited for the opportunity to bring Vocantas’ technology to this market.”

In related news, Carole LaPorte joined Vocantas in the role of marketing communications specialist.  With six years of experience, she will execute outbound marketing strategies to meet the demand for interactive voice response systems (IVRS) while cultivating new partnership opportunities.  She will also support Vocantas in the delivery of its speech technology solutions to optimize communications for utilities, emergency management, and customer service markets.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Clinical Solutions Creates Brand to Extend Market Differentiation

Clinical Solutions announced the brand name of its core software that all products are built upon.  InteFleCSTM is the core brand name for all Clinical Solutions products and supports the brand strategy going forward.

Commenting on the launch, Marce Colucci, head of marketing at Clinical Solutions, said that “InteFleCS reflects the characteristics of the business and suits our style and approach with the market – one that creates a unique identity that the market can easily relate to.  With our track record over the past six years, we feel this is a perfect platform to drive and develop our solutions in the future.”

InteFleCS is a trademarked name and will be used in all collateral.  Each of Clinical Solutions’ individual products will use the InteFleCS brand, including:

  • InteFleCS Telephone Triage
  • InteFleCS Face to Face
  • InteFleCS Long Term Conditions/ Chronic Disease Management
  • InteFleCS Web Service / Self Service
  • InteFleCS Urgent Care
  • InteFleCS Bio-Surveillance

Learn more about Clinical Solutions.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD for AnswerStat magazine, a medical healthcare publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]