The Henry Ford MyHealth Patient Portal with eVisits

Henry Ford Medical Group

Henry Ford Health System continually works to integrate web technologies into health care delivery. More than 80,000 patient appointments are scheduled by patients online annually. For personalized management of health services, Henry Ford offers patients the MyHealth web portal, a secured site to access test results, to renew and refill prescriptions, and to perform other tasks including eVisits. More than 65,000 requests for test results and prescription renewals are received each year, and more than 3,000 eVisits have occurred since the pilot study in 2006. An eVisit offers patients easy access to health care by providing virtual clinical consultations for non-emergent conditions. Patients with chronic disease especially benefit from eVisits through increased interaction with their physicians for better management of their conditions between office visits.


The Henry Ford MyHealth Patient Portal with eVisits

Henry Ford Health System has long worked to integrate web technologies into the delivery of health care to continually improve the quality, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness of care. In 2008, more than 80,000 patient appointments were scheduled by consumers on the System’s website. For personalized management of health services, Henry Ford offers patients the MyHealth web portal, which has grown to become the largest eHealth portal in the Midwest with 237,000 patients enrolled.

MyHealth provides a private, secure site allowing patients to view customized health information, obtain laboratory and other test results, renew and refill prescriptions, manage billing issues, and participate in eVisits. More than 65,000 requests for test results and prescription renewals are received annually on MyHealth, and 3,000 eVisits have occurred since the pilot of this new service in 2006.

The eVisit offers convenient, cost-effective access to health care by providing virtual clinic consultations. eVisits may be used for non-emergent acute conditions such as stomach pain, and chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. The eVisit begins when an enrolled patient logs into the MyHealth account and selects a non-urgent problem to report to the physician. A series of targeted questions survey the essential information, much as a physician would during a live office visit, and the patient’s responses are sent securely to the physician’s message center. The physician responds with a course of action or schedules an office appointment. eVisits are free of charge for Henry Ford Medical Group HAP members and $20 for other patients.

The eVisit improves patient access and allows physicians to make more frequent adjustments in a patient’s treatment regimen to achieve clinical goals. Patients with chronic disease especially benefit from eVisits through increased interaction with their physicians for better management of their conditions between office visits.

eVisit patients surveyed had among the highest patient satisfaction scores of those using Henry Ford services:

  • 97% strongly agreed that their physician responded to them in a reasonable timeframe and were satisfied with the quality of the response.
  • 100% agreed they would use eVisit again and would recommend the service to others.
  • In a focus group conducted with insured patients aged 40 to 60 years, patients indicated they wanted even more online interaction with physicians in the future.

Physicians surveyed found the eVisit system easy to use, with 100% of respondents agreeing that:

  • The summation of the clinical patient interview provided adequate information to make clinical judgment.
  • They were satisfied with the quality of their interaction with their patient.
  • They would recommend the eVisit to their patients.

Chart reviews done to determine the clinical quality of eVisits showed that:

  • Patients were using the eVisit system appropriately, software worked appropriately, and physicians were answering appropriately.
  • Of 75 eVisit records reviewed, 86% qualified for a HEDIS measure, with these patients showing improved HEDIS measures compared to patients not using eVisits.

Through continually improving MyHealth services, Henry Ford remains at the forefront of transforming the quality of health care for all patients.

Keywords: access, care team, chronic care, Detroit, e-visits, Henry Ford Medical Center, health information technology, Michigan, MyHealth web portal, patient support, patient web portal, safety, treatment, value

For more information on this project, contact Pam Landis, IT Services, Henry Ford Health System, plandis1@hfhs.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Dwight Angell
Director of Public Affairs
Henry Ford Health System
One Ford Place
Detroit, Michigan
tel. 313-876-8709
Dangell1@hfhs.org
www.henryfordhealth.org