Patients Benefit From Paperless Health Portal
September 28, 2012
Behavioral Health (BH) patients will soon see improvements in their appointment process following the implementation of a paperless portal designed to reduce redundancy, improve patient-provider communication, and give providers 'real-time' access to critical information.
The Behavioral Health Data Portal (BHDP) is a patient-driven Web portal that helps patients "tell their stories" to BH providers by answering a series of questions to identify BH related issues. BHDP is accessed from a laptop tablet or computer station located in the Behavioral Treatment Facility (BHT) clinic waiting area. The user-friendly tool allows patients to complete a questionnaire prior to their BH appointment during the time they would normally wait to see their provider. The process takes less than 30 minutes for first-time appointments. Follow-up visits take about five minutes because the BHDP process reduces the need for patients to repeatedly answer the same questions. The portal saves the patient from filling out mounds of paperwork and gives the providers valuable information to use during the appointment.
As soon as the patient completes the BHDP, the results are immediately available to discuss with the provider. The information also moves with the patient, allowing providers at different Military Treatment Facility (MTF) locations access to the most current information. Further, the patient's Protected Health Information (PHI) is still secure.
BHDP was developed by providers to enable patients to "tell their story."
"We want patients to give us the best and most current information possible so that we can immediately give quality and personalized care during the appointment," said LTC Millard Brown, BHDP Program Office lead. "One of the best features of BHDP is that responses over the course of a series of appointments can be captured in a graph that allows us to view it with the patient, discuss their progress and improvement over time, and adjust treatment efforts based on individual patient feedback."
"It's a win-win for patients and providers," says Katherine Babb, Management Analyst/Project Manager for the Behavioral Health Division of the U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM). Babb has worked over the past three years to coordinate MEDCOM's global implementation strategy and direct program communications initiatives. "Within the DoD, it has been a challenge to introduce technology that reduces the arduous process of standardizing the collection of multiple sources of information. BHDP is a great example of how technology should be used to assist both the beneficiaries and end users," said Babb.
One goal of BHDP is to allow BH providers across an entire care team improve coordination of care and assist providers in delivering higher-quality care. Many patients are already benefitting from the process that has improved mobility and accessibility of records for both patients and providers who are stationed throughout global Army Medical commands. The platform is currently available to soldiers and will ultimately include family members. BHDP uses the same validated scales used in the PDHA/PDHRA and these systems will be synchronized together for tracking of scores over time. However, BHDP does not replace PHDA, PHA, PHDRA or the GAT, which is a separate program.
The BHDP system is currently active at six Army posts: Tripler, Hawaii; Joint Base McCord, Washington State; Ft Sam Houston, Texas; Ft Carson, Colorado; Ft Bragg North Carolina; and Laundstahl, Germany. MEDCOM's ultimate strategy is to have BHDP in place at all Behavioral Health Clinics by December 2012.
BHDP is a key enabling component of the Behavior Health Services Line concept and part of an overarching movement of the Behavioral Health System of Clinical Care (BHSOC2), a coordinated, synchronized and integrated plan to develop and sustain optimal physical, emotional and spiritual wellness in Warriors and their families. This is accomplished through behavioral health education, prevention, diagnosis, intervention, treatment, documentation/data-collection and follow-up across all phases of the continuum of service for the Warrior and Family life cycles.
For more information about BHDP, contact BDHP@amedd.army.mil or commercial at 210-573-8946.