Intermountain Healthcare Uses AHRQ-funded "OpenInfobutton" for Prompt Medical Information
Intermountain Healthcare, a large health care system in Utah and southeastern Idaho, has used the AHRQ-funded "OpenInfobutton" since 2013 to provide its members online clinical information about their health conditions and lab results.
"We use the OpenInfobutton software to deliver customized education materials to patients, both at the point of care and through our patient portal," said Nathan Hulse, Ph.D., director of clinical knowledge management at Intermountain Healthcare. "People find real value in it."
OpenInfobutton is designed to provide timely answers to a patient’s health care questions, automatically summarizing information from multiple online sources. The information is added to the patient’s electronic health record (EHR), the electronic version of the patient’s medical history maintained by the physician.
Intermountain serves more than two million people. More than 370,000 members registered to access information through Intermountain’s "MyHealth" patient portal and its associated tools by late 2015. "Our portal directs patients to a number of educational references and resources," based on their questions and the information in their medical records, Dr. Hulse said.
Intermountain also introduced OpenInfobutton in 2015 to its network of 22 hospitals, 185 clinics, and medical group of 1,400 salaried physicians so they could quickly obtain up-to-date information during patients’ medical appointments to address questions and concerns. "It’s akin to a decision-support system," Dr. Hulse noted about the OpenInfobutton.
Development of the OpenInfobutton originated from a 2009 AHRQ award to Guilherme Del Fiol, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, biomedical informatics research at University of Utah. Dr. Del Fiol led the design, development, and testing of the HL7 Infobutton Standard, which enabled the integration between online health knowledge resources and EHR systems. The HL7 Infobutton Standard influenced the development of the open-source OpenInfobutton to easily share clinical and educational materials.
The importance of online health resource integration was recognized when compliance with the "Infobutton" specifications was required for EHR certification in the Meaningful Use Program. Health care providers were then required to use certified EHR technology, which has been shown to meaningfully improve quality, safety, and efficiency, and to reduce health disparities.