OTTAWA, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ - Vocantas Inc., developer of voice solutions for healthcare, has been selected by Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) to help researchers assess the impact of automated telephone follow-up systems on the management of patients on commonly prescribed medications. Using interactive voice response (IVR) and speech technology, the CallAssure system enables healthcare providers to evaluate real time patient data. Study researchers believe that this proactive outreach may facilitate communication between patients and their physicians between visits to address potentially serious issues.
Leading the project is researcher Jennifer Haas, MD, MSPH, at BWH's Division of General Medicine. Dr. Haas has made major contributions in areas focused on the use of technology to improve the quality and safety of patient care, as well as access to care, particularly among the poor and uninsured.
"After three weeks of pilot test calls, the system is functioning well," says Haas. "We are looking forward to implementing the technology in our trial to quickly and effectively reach participants and to manage the data efficiently."
Supporting HL7 standards, the CallAssure system automatically records any symptoms the patient is experiencing in a note which is then attached to the patient's electronic medical record.
Primary care patients at BWH who are prescribed any of 32 target medications for a range of chronic conditions, from allergies to high cholesterol, are enrolled in the study. Candidates receive a letter explaining how the study works, and may choose to opt out. More than 90% of patients have chosen to try the program at the time of this release.
Aarthi Iyer, MPH with the Division of General Medicine at BWH, explains that there are a number of potential problems that exist with identifying side effects from prescribed medications.
"Typically, medication follow-up is done during the next appointment. This can mean that a lot of time passes without symptoms and side effects being reported." says Iyer. "The automated patient poll serves as check-up between doctor visits."
Another key feature of CallAssure is that the survey is dynamic. Based on the medication and the patient's responses to questions, the survey script will trigger an email notification immediately to a physician for follow-up.
"Previously, information about symptoms and side effects was not collected in a standard and thorough manner," says Iyer. "Now, we are able to test a method that closes that follow-up loop and provides real-time reporting for review and analysis.
"We look forward to exploring potential ways to improve patient safety with new technology, and are happy to be working with the Vocantas team on this project."
Vocantas is a developer of interactive voice response systems (IVRS) that use advanced computer telephony and speech technology to provide its customers with cost-effective customer outreach solutions. The company's easy-to-use, turn-key solutions offer customizable core features and optional enhancements that integrate seamlessly with existing systems. Its products have particular application in the healthcare, utilities and customer service environments where they have been proven to increase efficiencies while minimizing operational costs. For more information, please visit www.vocantas.com
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