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April 7, 2010, Milwaukee, WI – My Health Direct (MHD)—a Milwaukee-based company offering low-cost and easily scalable approaches to connecting people to needed health care services—is a winner of a 2010 IQ (Innovation Quotient) Award. The awards recognize southeastern Wisconsin firms creating innovative products, services or processes.
“We’re honored to be recognized as a company that is bringing innovation to the marketplace,” says MHD CEO Jay Mason. “It says we’re on the cutting edge and committed to bringing the benefits of our products to consumers broadly and seamlessly.”
The company will be featured among other IQ winners in a special edition of BizTimes Milwaukee and honored at an April 29 awards luncheon during the sixth annual BizTech Conference & Expo at Wisconsin State Fair Park.
My Health Direct’s winning IQ submission is a software application that enables a hospital’s emergency department staff to make a real-time connection between people and community-based primary care. The web-based platform creates a real-time inventory of searchable, sortable health care appointments that enables interoperability of proprietary scheduling systems to support better coordination of care access across a community.
As Mason and his team recognize, the system addresses a series of issues common to many hospitals across the country, including: overcrowding associated with unnecessary ED visits for non-emergency and primary care; avoidable hospital admissions caused by a failure to schedule care for appropriate conditions; and fragmented care that patients sometimes receive following emergency department visits.
“A good example of how this works is the patient who’s had an accident requiring stitches,” says Mason. “Rather than have the patient who doesn’t have a primary care doctor come back in a week later to have the sutures removed, the ED staff can pull up an appointment in real time for a doctor’s office or clinic in the area who can handle that follow-up care. That’s much more appropriate than committing ED time, space and resources for such a minor procedure.”
The key, he says, is operating in real-time. Rather than receiving names and numbers of resources for the patient to contact, the patient gets an appointment for a specific clinic or other health care resource.
Studies of the solution have shown that the effect of linking patients with primary care providers who could monitor, treat and prevent certain health conditions led to a significant reduction in inpatient visits, and return on investment for health plans, hospitals and public health programs.
“As reform now begins to take shape, improving access to appropriate and timely access to care will be imperative as more individuals have coverage and are seeking care,” says Mason. “My Health Direct will play a significant role in helping to achieve that.”