Cerner announced Thursday a new offering developed through the investment it made this summer in digital prescription platform Xealth.
It will not offer its customers a centralized digital ordering and monitoring system, delivered right from the electronic health record, to help providers more easily deploy and manage digital tools and smartphone applications for their patients.
The tool enables clinicians to see an array of digital therapeutics and apps in the Cerner EHR, assess their cost and clinical value, and prescribe them for patients from within their workflows.
Additionally, it can help them track how well the connected health tools are working as part of a telehealth, remote monitoring or other virtual care program.
Among the tools on offer via Xealth’s platform: Babyscripts, Glooko, SilverCloud Health, Welldoc and others.
The platform by linking digital health tools such as these with EHR data, clinicians can monitor how the apps are being used, and can send care plans to patients’ smartphones.
THE LARGER TREND
Cerner announced its $6 million investment in Xealth, a Providence spinoff, back in August.
Among the use cases that can be tackled when the tool is deployed in the EHR and patients’ own portal: chronic disease management, behavioral health, maternity care, preparation for surgery and more. As telehealth and remote patient monitoring continue to be major modalities of care during the pandemic, digital tools and app prescriptions will offer enhancement treatment options for those areas and others.
Since then, Phoenix-based Banner Health has been one of the first Cerner customers to put the platform to work within its physicians’ workflows.
“Banner Health is known for providing leadership and embracing technology to improve patient care in this rapidly transforming health care environment,” said Scott Nordlund, chief strategy and growth officer, Banner Health, in a Cerner statement. “Our patients expect to be treated like consumers. Mindful of that expectation, we are utilizing new capabilities and expanding our formulary to make digital health easier for our doctors to deploy and monitor.”
Earlier this year, Healthcare IT News Features Editor Bill Siwicki explored how UPMC is using Xealth with its Epic EHR platform.
“Xealth offered the ability to integrate with our Epic EHR, sending content seamlessly from the platform, where providers already are used to working,” said Dr. Glenn Updike, medical director of clinical informatics for the women’s health service line at UPMC. “Providers would feel like they are sending materials from Epic, but Xealth would actually be collating information from vendors and UPMC alike into one streamlined package.”
He added: “While patients are not required to download additional apps to access their educational information, one of the successes of our Xealth implementation is our ability to prescribe monitoring apps for patients to better track their individual pregnancy experience,” he continued. “Xealth has allowed us to rapidly scale the prescription of this type of content because of the integration into the EHR.”
ON THE RECORD
“As digital tools are increasingly included in care plans, health systems seek a way to organize and oversee their use across the health system,” said David Bradshaw, senior vice president, consumer and employer solutions at Cerner. “Digital health has extraordinary potential to reshape the way we care for patients and, working with Xealth, we are answering the need and helping providers create more engaging and effective patient experiences.”
“Now, more than ever, extending care teams to meet patients where they are is critical,” said Mike McSherry, CEO and co-founder, Xealth. “As digital health programs roll out, they should elevate both the patient and provider experience. Cerner building out a digital formulary, with Xealth at its core, is listening to its strong clinician base by delivering tools to enhance patient care, without adding additional steps for the care team.”