Ochsner Health System First Epic Client to Fully Integrate with Apple HealthKit

New Orleans based Ochsner Health System, announced it is the first Epic Systems client to successfully integrate its electronic health record (EHR) with the new Apple HealthKit. Approximately 53 percent of Americans have their medical records within the Epic EHR, and its MyChart application is the most used patient portal in the United States.

“In the past, we relied on patients to log information, bring it to us, and then we would input the data and decide a course of action,” said Robert Bober, MD, Director of Cardiac Molecular Imaging, Ochsner Medical Center. “Now we can share information seamlessly between patient and physician to allow real-time, accurate analysis of a patient’s health status. This is ideal for patients with chronic diseases such as heart failure, hypertension and diabetes.”

         Ochsner said in a press release they began a home monitoring program earlier in the year for patients with heart failure. Gradual fluid accumulation can be dangerous for these patients, so they were sent home from the hospital with wireless scales that tracked their weight daily. The patients only had to step on the scale and their weights were sent to Ochsner’s EHR. The pharmacist monitoring the patient could adjust the patient’s medication over the phone, thus preventing unnecessary hospitalizations.

         “We had to build our own interfaces to get the information into the medical record,” said Richard Milani, MD, Chief Clinical Transformation Office, Ochsner Health System. “Now, patients can choose which information will be shared with us automatically.”

         Ochsner was one of three health systems tapped to beta-test the iOS8-integrated application, said Jonathan Wilt, Assistant Vice President of Ochsner’s Center of Innovation. “On Sunday, October 5, we signed up our first patient and were able to successfully import his personal health data into the Epic medical record.”

         “Because of the technology breakthroughs that have led to wearables and wireless devices we use in medicine, we have a unique opportunity to capture valuable and robust patient data without the patient always having to come in to see the doctor,” said Milani. “The integration of the EHR with HealthKit will make a major difference in how patients monitor and participate in their own healthcare in the future.”

         Additionally, Ochsner was the first organization to successfully implement Fitbit® and Withings auto-sync integration with MyChart. That means patients can use their Withings wireless blood pressure monitor at home and their blood pressure will automatically populate the Epic chart.

Ochsner Health System is southeast Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system. Ochsner employs more than 15,000 employees, over 900 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts over 400 clinical research trials annually.

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