NaviNet Gives Doctors New Collaboration Tools on iPhone, Android

Mobile Connect clinical messaging for Apple's iPhone and iPad, Android and Windows Mobile devices now allows AmeriHealth plan doctors to e-prescribe and bridge care gaps.

AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies is offering health-management mobile applications to its member physicians using NaviNet's Mobile Connect platform.

NaviNet is a provider of real-time health care communications.

The applications will allow doctors in the AmeriHealth network to access mobile clinical care alerts and prescribe medications electronically. Using Mobile Connect, AmeriHealth doctors will be able to view patients' medication histories on their smartphones.

By reading through clinical data using Mobile Connect, doctors will be able to avoid medical errors, such as overprescribing medication, and reduce hospitalization.

"It's really trying to increase the penetration of real-time physician information into the physician's hands," Dr. Jay Feldstein, regional president of AmeriHealth's northern division, told eWEEK.

Messages that pop up in Mobile Connect can help doctors avoid care gaps, according to Feldstein. If patients suffer from diabetes, a heart condition or an abnormal amount of lipids in the blood, Mobile Connect will alert doctors with electronic messages.

Mobile Connect's network allows health plans such as AmeriHealth to send patient-related alerts to physicians on Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or an Android- or Windows Mobile-based device. Doctors can then transfer the data into their practice-management software.

Mobile Connect integrates NaviNet Prescribe, which allows doctors to prescribe medications electronically, authorize refills, access medication histories and screen for drug interactions. In addition, doctors can view patient benefit information, including copayments and which drugs have formulary status.

"We're just trying to put actual information in their hands so they deliver better care," Feldstein said.

AmeriHealth will provide both the devices and the applications to physicians, and the benefits to patient health will pay for the cost of the devices, Feldstein suggested.

"We think the savings that will occur because of decreased ER visits, decreased hospitalization and better medication compliance will pay for it in the long run," Feldstein explained.

Alerts on physicians' mobile devices may contain information on missed tests or procedures and on procedures performed by other physicians.

NaviNet and AmeriHealth announced their agreement Sept. 13.

On Aug. 11 Aetna announced that it would also adopt Mobile Connect to allow for real-time messaging between doctors and patients and access to clinical data in the exam room.

Meanwhile, on June 15, NaviNet launched its Mobile Connect for Pharmacy Benefit Managers so that companies such as CVS Caremark and Medco can transmit vital pharmaceutical data to physicians and retail and mail-order pharmacies.

With doctors accessing clinical data through Mobile Connect provided by health plans such as AmeriHealth Mercy and Aetna, the decisions they'll be able to make with the data available in real time could help patients recover faster and remain healthy for longer periods of time, Dr. Michael Ross, NaviNet's chief medical officer, noted in a statement.

AmeriHealth will initially roll out Mobile Connect to doctors in Lehigh, Pa. If the trial goes well after six months, the insurer will then add the service to the rest of Pennsylvania and other states in which the plan operates, including Indiana, Louisiana and South Carolina.