In another step in the company's journey to extend healthcare outside the walls of an exam room, Xealth announced today the launch of a new tool that allows doctors the ability to digitally send over the counter (OTC) product recommendations to patients so they can purchase them from their favorite retailer – either online and or in store.
"We created Xealth with the mission to vastly improve physician efficiency and patient experiences," says Mike McSherry, CEO of Xealth. "This product prescribing feature represents the best of that vision. By digitizing clinical workflows, we reduce the friction patients feel when buying recommended products for their care."
Today, doctors frequently recommend OTC products such as ice packs and knee braces to patients manually – often by providing print outs, handwritten notes, or by copy and pasting links. Using Xealth technology, physicians can now digitally recommend these same OTC items, right from their Electronic Medical Record (EMR). Patients can then access this list and purchase items from retailers like Amazon and others. This reduces physician time, increases accuracy, and provides a much-improved, more convenient method for patients to get the care they need to get better.
Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) and UPMC are the first health systems to go live with the service. PSJH is incorporating it into its Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute, and UPMC into maternity and orthopedic care. In addition, this functionality is set to roll out at several other health systems in the near future.
Orthopedics patients who are recovering from knee surgery, for example, can have items such as shower chairs and cast covers proactively recommended to them, so they can be purchased be on-hand when they return home from the hospital. Expectant mothers can have items such as body pillows, maternity belts, and compression socks on hand to provide comfort during pregnancy. This tool can also significantly reduce the amount of back and forth between patients and clinicians, saving time for all involved. Future examples of product recommendations could include breast pumps, anti-colic bottles, breastfeeding pillows for pediatrics; cortisone cream, hypoallergenic bath products, acne treatment, and sunblock for dermatology, and items such as healthy food cookbooks, humidifiers, and back support pillows for general primary care.
Dr. Charles Young of PSJH's Facey Medical Group says, "We're excited about this pilot. It is another way to ensure our patients are getting the care they need. In orthopedics, it can be confusing for patients to know which braces or devices are really the ones that will improve their symptoms and help them heal. And, it can be difficult for clinicians, like myself, to ensure that they are communicating their advice in a way that patients will remember and act upon. This venture brings those two together by providing a digital link between doctor and patient to ultimately get them back on their feet."
OTC product recommendation is just the latest exciting development of the Xealth platform, which also enables clinicians to recommend digital services, apps, and relevant content.