How Blue Cross Uses Information Technology to Improve Health Care

Richard Boehm

| 3 min read

Director Information Management and Provider Systems...

Information Technology plays a critical role in the ability of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to provide the highest quality care to our members. Whether it’s coordinating data and information between a physician and a hospital, or ensuring our members have all the tools they need while on the go, IT is ever-present in our members’ experience. Making Communication Seamless One way IT adds to the value of care we offer is ensuring that essential information about our members gets to physicians and hospitals at the right time—something especially crucial during admissions, discharges and transfers of patients. After one of our members has been admitted for care, we communicate with their caregiver, such as their primary care physician, through the Michigan Health Information Exchange. This way, their physicians know critical information and are aware that their patient has been admitted to a hospital for care. They also know when their patients are discharged and to follow-up with them to help prevent re-admissions. Improving Health Outcomes
Richard Boehm, Director Information Management and Provider Systems at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
By coordinating care after a member is discharged from a hospital, we ensure patients are fully equipped with the information they need about their medications. This can reduce the risk of hospital readmittance, which is often caused by confusion about medications. We are currently working on a program with physicians to help members reconcile medications before and after discharge. Blue Cross works with the physicians and patients to ensure they have the accurate, essential medication information and understand what they need to do. Supplying Access from Anywhere Continuing to evolve with technology has enabled members to always have access to the details of their plan—no matter where they are. Our mobile app allows members to access to their personal health information right on their smartphones. The app, which is available for both Apple and Android phones, lets members see what services their plan covers, check claims, compare procedure costs and more. Sharing Important Information Blue Cross has continued to improve the movement of data between physicians, hospitals and insurers. There’s a lot of historical information we have about members and their health. It’s extremely valuable to combine that with hospital or physician’s records and make it all available to our members’ doctors and hospitals in a way that complies with Personal Health Information (PHI) guidelines. In the future, we’ll have even more real-time data safely and securely collected through devices and wearable trackers, like heart monitors, home blood pressure tests and more. Keeping It All Safe As important as all of the other improvements are, keeping data secure is our number one priority. Security has gone from a minor issue to a major concern, because everything is connected. Blue Cross has invested heavily in security technologies, processes and procedures that have to be followed when handling members’ information. We’re constantly monitoring our systems for intrusions to protect our members every day. To learn more about Information Technology at Blue Cross, visit the following blogs:
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