App eases integration of patient-reported healthcare data

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An award-winning smartphone app spearheaded by the University of Minnesota (UMN) is giving the healthcare industry an easier way to integrate healthcare data from patients.

Incorporating a patient’s own data

The app is called PRISM, which stands for Patient Reporting and Insight System from Minnesota. The app works to make both doctors and patients’ medical experiences more efficient by allowing users to answer questions on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) through the smartphone app.

One of the co-leads of the project is Steve Johnson, who serves as the UMN Clinical and Translational Science Institute's Scientific Director, Clinical Informatics Services. The other co-lead is the C. Arthur Williams Jr. Professor of Healthcare Risk Management, Pinar Karaca-Mandic, who is also the academic director of the UMN Carlson School’s Medical Industry Leadership Institute (MILI). 

“The PRISM app fundamentally changes how the healthcare industry works and makes it much easier to integrate patient data,” Karaca-Mandic says. “I am so proud to work with experts from across the University as well as outside partners to be able to put this app together and be a force for good.”

Valuable insights for clinicians

One of the app’s most noteworthy features is its ability to integrate a patient’s responses with the healthcare provider’s electronic health records (EHR) system. This ultimately gives clinicians an easy way to access valuable health information not previously available to them.

“Most providers want to incorporate a patient’s own health assessment into the clinical care experience, but implementing this across a healthcare system is extremely challenging,” says Johnson. “Because the app collects patient-reported data in a way that can be used by the provider’s EHR system, it arms clinicians with information that can improve diagnoses and patient outcomes.”

The open-source code used to develop the PRISM app is now available, making it easier than ever for healthcare providers to incorporate patient-reported data into the clinical care experience. 

PRISM won the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Step Up App Challenge, a competition to address the need for greater use of standardized patient-reported outcomes (PRO) data in clinical care and research. After the app’s award, it was piloted successfully in nine practice settings in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

Customized care

The app’s data can be used to provide insight into a person’s health status, function, and quality of life as well as evaluate the physical, mental and social health in adults and children.

PRISM can show patients how their data compares to the overall population and provide personalized recommendations on how to improve their health. 

A collaborative effort

“It takes a ton of work from a variety of different partners to be able to put an app like this together,” Karaca-Mandic. “We have the ideal mix of exactly who we need for this project to succeed.”

Along with CTSI and the Carlson School, the app was developed by experts from the University of Minnesota Medical School, and Institute for Health Informatics, in partnership with Fairview Health Services, EMF Consulting, and Perk Motivation. Perk Motivation provided the software development for PRISM and incorporated engagement techniques from their experience developing other healthcare apps.

The PRISM app was developed with financial support from AHRQ’s Step Up App Challenge, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Trust Fund, University of Minnesota Medical School's New Opportunities to Improve Outcomes (NOTIO) grant, the University of Minnesota’s National Institute of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences grant UL1TR002494, and the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management’s Medical Industry Leadership Institute. In addition, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services led stakeholder efforts to develop the technical specifications that support the integration and interoperable exchange of structured PRO data.

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