Dr. Michael Gilbert, St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group's Informatics Officer and a family physician based in Orange, Calif., has spent the past 20 years directing informatics projects with the group, including electronic health record (EHR) implementation. A strong advocate of the meaningful use incentive program and passionate about its potential to improve health care quality, he recently helped SJHMG leverage clinical summaries to improve health care quality for its patients. His efforts were recently recognized by the national Health IT Vanguard Program, as he was selected as one of seven Fall 2013 Health IT Fellows across the country. His story was also featured on HealthIT.gov, some of which you can read below:
"Even after implementing an EHR, Dr. Gilbert realized patients were only retaining about 20 percent of the information he and his colleagues shared with them during office visits. To more fully engage patients in their care, help patients remember their care plans, and achieve meaningful use, Dr. Gilbert wanted providers in the medical group to start providing clinical summaries to patients after each office visit. Clinical summaries, which contain basic clinical information, such as medications prescribed, upcoming appointments, and other care plan instructions, can improve patient-provider communication and help patients remember important information.
'Clinical summaries have led to increased satisfaction among both patients and providers,' Dr. Gilbert said. While meaningful use incentives were one motivating factor behind the decision to provide patients with clinical summaries, the medical group was also inspired by a broader desire to provide high quality care. Reflecting on their success, Dr. Gilbert encourages other providers to 'set a high bar so that your efforts will have an impact on patients and create a personal sense of fulfillment, while also satisfying requirements for quality improvement programs, such as meaningful use.'"
Visit HealthIT.gov to read more about Dr. Gilbert's efforts to improve patient care.