By Tamara StClaire

Tamara St. Claire, chief innovation officer for Commercial Healthcare at Xerox

“Innovations that improve healthcare, and the care experience, are all around us.” — Tamara StClaire, chief innovation officer, Commercial Healthcare for Xerox

Healthcare consumers have more power than ever to make decisions about their own care, and access their care in simple and convenient ways. Personally, I love being able to take a more active role by using the online portal provided by my doctor. It allows me to get my test results without having to schedule another appointment to meet with my physician, nor do I have to pick up the phone and be put on hold.

Telehealth is the new frontier for healthcare, and that’s exciting because it allows patients to access high-quality care very conveniently, and at a reasonable cost.

As a CIO in the healthcare field, I’m keen on these innovations.  But, you might not realize that I’m the norm rather than the exception – more American consumers are signing on to these new ways of accessing healthcare.

Innovations that improve healthcare, and the care experience, are all around us. You can find them in your local hospital, your pharmacy – even your own home.

Did You Take Your Meds?

Patients aren’t always in the hospital to be monitored, so innovation must also take place in the home – specifically when it comes to medication adherence. According to the American Heart Association, 12 percent of Americans are unlikely to follow a prescribed direction for taking medication after they get a prescription filled. But, if patients don’t take their medication properly, it might stop working, or worse, they can make themselves sicker.

Researchers at PARC, A Xerox Company, believe that patients’ failure to follow doctor’s orders is more a decision-making problem than a memory problem. Understanding how people store and use information has allowed PARC researchers create a tool that helps people make better decisions about their health – including whether or not to take medication as prescribed.  The outcome is improved quality of life for patients who take their medication as prescribed.

The Doctor is in…at the Pharmacy

Xerox is the exclusive business processing outsourcing provider for HealthSpot. We will deliver cloud hosting, systems integration, claims eligibility and claims submission solutions.

Just as patients can’t get better if they don’t take their medicine properly, they also risk longer sicknesses if they don’t go to the doctor to get diagnosed. With traditional doctor offices scheduling appointments weeks in advance, and waits at urgent care centers rivaling those at the emergency room, many people don’t know where to turn to get checked for minor complaints, such as a sore throat or ear infection.

The pharmacy is quite accessible for most consumers, and it’s ripe with opportunity to make healthcare more convenient.  Our partnership with HealthSpot, which we announced last year, is our first venture into telehealth.  HealthSpot’s private, 40-square-foot kiosk (photo, top of page) allows patients to interact virtually with a board-certified doctor who can diagnose and provide care for many common ailments. Patients can be diagnosed and begin a treatment plan in as little as 15 minutes.

The kiosks are “Powered by Xerox,” and will be available at most Rite Aid pharmacies throughout Ohio early this year.

Which healthcare innovations have intrigued you lately? I’d love to read your comments.

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