Horizon Patient Kiosk expands personal health management suite

San Diego 13 February 2006In the latest expansion of its personal health management suite, McKesson has added Horizon Patient Kiosk, a touch-screen solution for hospitals and physician offices that enables patients to electronically check in for appointments and procedures at the point of service. They can also access and review their own demographic information, view appointments, check outstanding balances and co-payments, and electronically sign consent forms. By automating routine processes, patients enjoy shorter wait-times while medical staff eliminate paperwork and increase throughput. McKesson is showcasing Horizon Patient Kiosk and other solutions in its market-leading personal health management suite at the HIMSS 2006 Annual Conference and Exhibition in San Diego, California.

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McKesson provides unmatched content and technology to support the pro-active management of chronic disease and to promote the preventive care associated with health and wellness management. McKesson solutions touch more than 24 million American covered lives, with capabilities that include McKesson nurse disease management, remote monitoring, portal technology, physician-patient connectivity, nurse triage services and personal emergency response systems, to name a few. McKesson is the only company to offer solutions for all key stakeholders that address the needs of patients regardless of their location - in the hospital, at home, work or while traveling.

"With customers that span virtually every aspect of health care, McKesson is uniquely positioned to understand and address the complex challenges of patient cost and quality", stated Emad Rizk, M.D., president, McKesson Health Solutions. "Integration of this technology with call centre and disease management programmes will further enhance performance, leading to better clinical and financial outcomes. Within the next five years, we believe the demand for technology-enabled care programmes will explode as the population ages, consumerism increases, and providers and payers alike are challenged with shrinking margins."

With chronic disease affecting almost half of the United States population and driving 83 percent of health care costs, providers and payers are increasingly turning to health IT as a means to help control costs and promote self-care and wellness management. McKesson is an expert in nurse triage call centre services and community-based disease management for Medicaid and Medicare populations. It is also the world's largest developer and distributor of medical call centre software for payers and providers, enabling them to help patients avoid unnecessary doctor physician or hospital care. Eight states in the United States use CareEnhance nurse call centres or disease management for patients covered by Medicaid.

For Internet-savvy patients, Horizon(WP) Patient Portal enables secure on-line communication with their care team, self-service tools, and access to their personal information anytime, anywhere via a secure Web connection. Patients with cancer, diabetes, congestive heart failure and other conditions can use the portal to become better informed about what to expect in the care process, leading to better health outcomes and greater satisfaction.

Over the past 18 months, McKesson has added two new patient solutions for use in the home - McKesson Telehealth Advisor and McKesson Telehealth Guardian. Telehealth Advisor is an in-home patient monitoring solution that provides chronic disease management for conditions such as asthma and heart disease. Using a small medical device in the home connected to a phone line, patients can receive electronic patient coaching, education and tracking of symptoms, behaviour, knowledge and vital signs data. Telehealth Guardian is a personal emergency response system that includes a telephone-based communications unit, wireless transmitter in the home, and a specialized emergency response call centre. In addition to promoting more effective self-care and reducing emergency room visits, the solutions reduce provider costs by enabling homecare nurses and medical staff to monitor a larger group of patients.

"All stakeholders - patients, providers, payers and employers - benefit when technology is used to reduce costs and improve care in the home", stated Craig Frazier, McKesson's general manager for Extended Care Solutions. "The ability to equip patients and their care teams to monitor and manage chronic conditions, and then tie that information into the patient's electronic health record is essential to shifting the treatment paradigm. We must move from reactively addressing disease exacerbation to promoting and supporting self-management, prevention and wellness. Recent studies have shown that 86 percent of patients who use remote monitoring say they better understand their medical condition and treatment and are better able to manage their chronic health conditions."

Patients who find they must use hospital services can register on McKesson's new patient kiosk, and once in a room, they can log on to Horizon PatientVision. Using a bedside display or television, Horizon Patient Vision provides secure access to patient information with on-demand entertainment options, Internet access, e-mail and educational services.

Follow-up visits to physicians may be conducted via the Web using McKesson's physician-patient connectivity solution, which provides a secure, Web-based connection to facilitate efficient, non-urgent care on-line. Using the solution, physicians can conduct clinically structured, payer-reimbursed consultations with their patients in a secure, efficient and affordable manner. Patients can connect with their physicians for routine services like appointments, prescription refills and laboratory results.

"As growth in the over 65 population accelerates and chronic disease becomes more prevalent, it's essential that organisations choose a partner that can tie together the entire spectrum of care", stated Pamela Pure, president, McKesson Provider Technologies. "McKesson has led the industry in developing a broad-based portfolio based squarely on the needs of the patient and with a strong return on investment to providers, payers and other stakeholders."

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 15th on the Fortune 500, is a health care services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality health care by reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving the quality and safety of patient care. Over the course of its 173-year history, McKesson has grown by providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; health care information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare, and payers; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payers designed to improve outcomes for patients. More news on McKesson can be found in the VMW February 2006 article Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association selects McKesson for telehealth and patient monitoring.


Leslie Versweyveld

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