Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Care Record (EHR) Incentive Programs provide incentive payments to eligible practitioners and hospitals as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.
Our team was approached by Penn Medicine’s Chief Medical Information Officer to assist with a very specific task: increase secure electronic messaging from patients to providers to ensure the successful completion of Measure 17 of 17 in the Meaningful Use Stage 2 process.
If the entire Meaningful Use Stage 2 measure is reached, Penn Medicine will qualify for incentive payments for each eligible provider up to $44,000 by 2016. If the measure is not reached, Penn Medicine will be denied Medicare payments for those providers by 1-5% accumulatively through 2020+.
Measure 17 requires eligible providers to receive electronic messages from greater than 5% of their patients in any quarter of a calendar year.
Our team hosted three collaborative design sessions with staff from Information Services and Clinical Operations at Penn Medicine to brainstorm ways to increase messaging between patients and providers.
In the first meeting, we generated ideas that would encourage patients to both enroll in the MyPennMedicine portal (MPM), and initiate an electronic message.
In the second meeting, we selected four ideas to pursue:
- Call center enrollment: encourage patients to enroll in MPM when they call for an appointment. Assumption: patients may not know the benefits, and would enroll if prompted.
- Physician leaderboard: showcase physicians’ percent of patients who message, in comparison to their peers. Assumption: providers will be motivated by a public announcement of their status, and will encourage more patients to send messages.
- Email invitations: send invitations to patients who are not enrolled in MPM but for whom we have an email address. Assumption: inviting patients by email will increase enrollment in MPM, which can, in turn, increase messaging
- Guest Wi-Fi: advertise the benefits of MPM on the guest login page. Assumption: if prompted, patients will use MPM while in Penn Medicine buildings.
After 8 weeks, the group met for the third session to share the outcomes. The physician leaderboard proved to be the most effective method. For one provider, patient messaging increased up to 20% -- well beyond the required 5%.
Review detailed outcomes from each experiment here.