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November 29, 2011

HealthCare Partners Releases Mobile-Friendly Version of Its Patient Online Portal

Media Contact - Bonnie Widerman 310.354.4282

Torrance, CA, November 29, 2011
– In keeping with its philosophy of creating multiple channels of access to medical care and health information for patients, HealthCare Partners has released a mobile-friendly version of its secure Patient Online Portal (known as “POP”). The new version is available on smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android system, using services from major telecommunications carriers such as Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T.

The mobile-friendly version of the portal enables patients to make, cancel, or change primary care appointments with their HealthCare Partners-affiliated doctor, send secure messages to their doctors’ offices, request referrals to specialists, make appointments for lab tests and view test results within three days of their becoming available, request prescription refills, view parts of their medical records including current diagnoses, obtain answers to billing and insurance questions,  and perform other related functions.

“HealthCare Partners recognizes how vital mobile applications have now become to our ‘on-the-go’ society. Our mission as a healthcare provider is to never stand still but constantly improve our services, staying at the forefront of technology,” said Ed W. Kasch, HealthCare Partners’ director of Ancillary Services. Kasch knows firsthand how vital mobile applications can be for healthcare purposes. In fact, his parents’ experience is what inspired him to suggest the mobile-friendly version of the portal to the technology steering committee on which he serves.

Last year, Kasch’s mother, age 72, was taken to her local hospital’s emergency room because of an infection. In the emergency room, it was important to know what medications she was taking. Emergency room staff obtained that information from a list that she brought with her.  Later, she was admitted to the hospital.  Kasch, along with his siblings, waited with his mom while her husband, also age 72, went home to eat and rest.  He took the medication list with him, and when the hospital staff needed the medication information for their records it was not available.

“My parents don’t have a smartphone, but I sure do,” said Kasch. “If mobile access had been available, I could have gone to my mom’s Patient Online Portal account (because she had authorized him to see her medical information) and quickly obtained her medication and dosage information.”

Kasch was referring to yet another feature of the now mobile-friendly HealthCare Partners’ Patient Online Portal. Patients can designate their adult children or other caregivers to see their online medical records. These caregivers have view-only access and become members of the patient’s Care Circle. If the patient wishes to give them access for making appointments, prescription refills, or other tasks, the designated person can set up a proxy account with the patient’s permission.

After his mother’s hospitalization and subsequent release, Kasch approached his HealthCare Partners technology steering committee with the idea for making the Patient Online Portal mobile-friendly. They readily agreed. Development and optimization of the new version of the portal took about six months, according to Kasch. “We had to design the screens, recode applications to fit, and then test and retest to make sure everything was perfectly optimized.”
HealthCare Partners created its Patient Online Portal for Internet access in January 2010, and this Web-based service is used by many patients, according to Michelle Pigford, vice president of the Business Office and Patient Support Center for HealthCare Partners.  “We continue to aggressively expand on the services and information available to patients through this secure portal to increase convenience and access,” she added.

About HealthCare Partners

HealthCare Partners Medical Group (HCP) has been named a top-performer for eight years in a row by the Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA), and has been recognized by health plans and business groups for medical leadership, the high quality of medical care delivered, operational effectiveness, and high rates of patient satisfaction. With more than 1,200 employed and affiliated primary care physicians and more than 3,000 employed and contracted specialists, HealthCare Partners cares for patients in Los Angeles, Long Beach, South Bay, Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley area, the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys, and Orange County.  In addition to primary care doctors’ offices, HealthCare Partners provides medical services through urgent care centers and ambulatory surgery centers.  For more information, please visit www.healthcarepartners.com
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