Northwell Health Leads In Patient-Focused IT Solutions

Northwell Health is one of the industry leaders in their understanding of patients and the ability to use information technology to address their needs. Northwell Health is engaged in a number of initiatives to streamline care for specific patient needs. As an industry leader, Northwell Health’s goals include selling successful information technology solutions to other industry participants.

Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, about 750 outpatient facilities and more than 13,600 affiliated physicians. Northwell Health cares for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and has 70,000 employees – 16,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners.

Northwell Health is creating comprehensive digital solutions, including a mobile app that offers patients easy access to everything they need to manage their care. Beginning its launch in 2018 and continuing into this year, the app’s goal is to allow each patient to create a detailed profile of themselves and their preferences, view their records, including previous visits, medical information, and educational materials on potential issues they might be having.

In addition, the app allows patients to schedule appointments, check in and out of Northwell facilities, organize follow-up care, and pay bills online. In the future, the platform will also allow patients to connect to digital services for at-home care and have in-room features for patients during a hospital stay.

In addition to the mobile app, another key mission has been to create a connected, integrated health network at Northwell. and Allscripts recently announced an innovative agreement to create the next-generation electronic health record (EHR). The cloud-based, voice-enabled, artificial intelligence-based EHR will be designed and tested using input from Northwell clinicians, information technology experts and administrators with the goal of ultimately deploying it systemwide.

Allscripts will provide the development and systems integration expertise to build the new and improved EHR. The product will optimize the user experience and enhance the delivery of care to improve the experience for both clinicians and patients alike.

Allscripts and Northwell will jointly develop and pilot the new EHR while continuing to support and enhance Allscripts Sunrise™, the EHR platform currently in use at the 19 Northwell hospitals and Allscripts Touchworks™, currently in use at more than 750 outpatient practices that Northwell owns and operates throughout the New York area. Northwell has been using Allscripts’ EHR since 2009 to advance the automation of inpatient and outpatient records in all medical settings across the health system.

Additionally, Northwell Health has begun trials to incorporate a social vulnerability index as part of its EHR. This not only gives clinicians a better understanding of the whole patient, but strengthens relationships between all parties.

Also, Northwell Health  is deploying a cloud-based secure messaging application to improve clinician communications. The application is available for mobile and desktop devices and uses the cloud to securely store data. The application is used on Northwell Health-issued secure mobile phones, which require password and encryption protocols, and other mobile devices that meet Northwell’s security standards. The secure messaging app being used at Glen Cove Hospital is based on the Microsoft Teams app. About 8,300 Northwell staff currently use the app and rollouts will continue across the health system this year and into early 2020.