Military Healthcare Study Shows Value of Secure Messaging

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While the recent review of the US Military Healthcare System (MHS) found disappointing results overall, the value of secure messaging was one of the bright spots. One of the consultants who performed the review said, “Overall, MHS performance mirrors what we see in the private sector: a good deal of mediocrity, pockets of excellence and some serious gaps.” For a health system that has long portrayed itself as being one of the best in the country, the report was disappointing.

However, one of the bright spots in the report is the MHS’ use of secure messaging between patients and physicians, which the consultants agree is improving access to care and impacting quality. Survey data from the report shows that 97 percent of patients who used secure messaging are satisfied, and 86 percent say it likely saved them from making clinic appointments or visiting urgent care. The report endorses the usage of secure messaging and recommends it because of its value for patients and to support the military’s “patient-centered medical home” concept of care.

Secure messaging reduces the number of face to face appointments, which is both more convenient for patients and more costs effective for health systems. “People who have it, and whose doctors use it, love it,” said Joyce Wessel Raezer, executive director of National Military Family Association.

“If they can handle something with the doctor over secure email, such as ‘Your test results are normal’ or ‘I want you to take this medication for a while longer,’ that frees up appointments [and] reduces the hassle.” Because of the volume of clinic visits the MCH handles every year, a modest reduction in clinic visits has the potential to save the MCH millions annually.

To see how you can implement secure messaging to increase patient access and satisfaction, sign up for a free trial of Cirius’ cloud-based secure messaging platform.

Image: Medical symbol stained glass panel Good Grief Glass 7.19.11

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