|LYNDHURST, N.J. -- Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) , the nation's leading provider of diagnostic laboratory testing, information and services announced today that its enhanced Care360 Physician Portal now combines laboratory test results and prescription data to help doctors evaluate patients' response to medication therapy.
The Care360 Physician Portal, developed by MedPlus, Quest Diagnostics' healthcare information technology subsidiary, now enables doctors to view diagnostic test results and medication data simultaneously. For the first time, physicians who use the Care360 Physician Portal will be able to see the effects of their treatment plans by looking at a graphical representation of laboratory test results and medications available within the portal. With customizable flowsheets, physicians can graphically monitor patients' response to a prescribed treatment plan over time.
The Care360 Physician Portal is an affordable solution for the more than 80,000 physicians and their office staff who use the portal to receive laboratory test reports for more than 9 million patients each month.
"We enhanced the Care360 Physician Portal based on customer feedback," said Richard A. Mahoney, Vice President, Healthcare Information Solutions at Quest Diagnostics. "Now doctors can quickly and visually assess the impact of medications on patients' laboratory values to monitor their progress, encourage compliance to therapy or make changes as necessary."
At the same time, the Care360 Physician Portal has been enhanced with new electronic prescribing features that allow doctors to see critical patient information when prescribing medication, reducing the opportunity for potentially harmful medication errors. In one view, physicians can now review available medication histories, many drug-to-drug and allergy-to-drug interactions, patient concerns, physician notes and recent laboratory test results. The physician can then electronically prescribe medications right from the patient chart, sending the prescription directly to a local pharmacy or pharmacy benefit management company. Care360 Physician Portal premium services, including electronic prescribing and other administrative services are available to physicians for a monthly subscription fee.
"Above all, doctors wanted more context for better decision making, so in one view, the Care360 Physician Portal can now surround the doctor with medication histories, laboratory test results and patient concerns," added Mahoney.
New information sharing features enable doctors to improve collaboration in a physician community. Physicians can now securely share select portions of a patient's file with specialists and other members of the clinical team in a format that allows the recipient to automatically integrate the patient's information into their charts. Patients who are seen by multiple healthcare providers will benefit from physicians having complete patient information. According to a recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, clinical information, including laboratory results and medications, was missing in 13.6% of primary care visits and was found "to be at least somewhat likely to adversely affect patients" 44% of the time. ("Missing Clinical Information During Primary Care Visits," JAMA 2005;293:565- 571)
Additional administrative features now include enhanced reporting capabilities that allow physicians and administrators to monitor information practice-wide and generate pay-for-performance or quality measure reports, as well as identify trends or flag patients meeting certain criteria. For example, if a medical guideline is changed, such as a lower target glucose level, or a drug is recalled, doctors can quickly identify all patients in the Care360 system that are impacted.
MedPlus will demonstrate version 2.0 of the Care360 Physician Portal at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference in the San Diego Convention Center, February 13-16, 2006, at Booth #2527. The company will also be featuring its ChartMaxx electronic patient record solution.