healthcaretechoutlook

Phytel-An IBM Company: Laying the Foundation for a Healthier Community

 Steve Schelhammer, CEO
With data piling up by the second and every single data record having a crucial need to preserve its infinitesimal details, the healthcare sector manages to suit itself among the top Big Data consumers. Nevertheless, data has no meaning without appropriate interpretation. The HITECH Act, part of the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) sanctions up to $19 billion to healthcare providers for the meaningful use of electronic health data. On another note, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act obligate hospitals to harmonize cost and quality of care. Population Health Management (PHM) is the emissary that serves as a centralized paradigm for delivering hi-quality cost-effective care. “Phytel, an IBM company, was founded on the principle of delivering continuous proactive care and providing collective information about the ongoing health of patients across entire communities,” quotes Steve Schelhammer, CEO, Phytel.

An ideal provider must rely on the effectiveness of proactive, preventive, and chronic healthcare during the course of treatment. The Dallas, TX headquartered healthcare firm keeps a track of patient schedules, spots out non-compliant records, and sends them reminders for their impending clinical visits. “We motivate the patients to reconnect with their physicians,” states Schelhammer. Phytel has the architecture and interface to exploit physicians’ EMR system (Electronic Medical Records) that is constantly combed through for irregularities. This is coupled with an automated communication system which auto-generates reminders to patients on behalf of physicians.

Realizing the major setback with having to bank entirely on the EMR, which only accounts for 5 to 10 percent of the marketplace, Phytel is designed in such a way that physicians can access EMR data in addition to other practice management systems. “We are one of the few solutions in the marketplace that has gone down that path,” extols Schelhammer.

Physicians can now lead health improvement population management efforts and Phytel endows them with the right means


By leveraging automation to deliver healthcare, Phytel has a bottom-to-top approach. In the place of traditional systems where live man-to-man phone calls rendered as the primary means of communication, the organization has entirely revamped the communication space by introducing smart messaging driven by logic utilizing existing technologies.

When Florida based Orlando Health encountered impediments in shifting its traditional systems to PHM to stay ahead of the curve, they realized manual aggregation of medical records and excessive reliance on historical claims data were proving to be strenuous tasks. In an attempt to achieve this feat, Phytel was roped in to implement its PHM platform. Paraphrasing Jennifer Endicot, VP of Clinical Integration, Orlando Health, “Phytel effectively engages patients in their care process yielding better compliance results.”

Phytel enforces a three-step strategy in delivering quality care to patients. Phytel emphasizes on motivation—the first step—in engaging patients to connect with their patients. Optimization, which comes second on his list, Schelhammer says, “brings us down to the path of leveraging data and getting the physicians produce better decision-making at the point of care.” Every clinical visit is optimized in order to pave way for intuitive and educational opportunities. Thirdly, Phytel strives to extend the reach, power, and persuasiveness of physicians beyond the walls of their practices.

“Physicians can now lead health improvement population management efforts and Phytel endows them with the right means,” assures Schelhammer. Covering the distance from 15 to 80 customers in a span of 18 months, Phytel is looking at exciting times, anticipating changes on a large scale in the healthcare environment contributing towards making it substantial and sustainable.