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Collaboration Yields Family Caregiver Application and MedTrue™ Workflow Solutions

DANVILLE, Pa. – Geisinger and Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced the launch of two innovative, web-based workflow solutions to help improve health outcomes. 

The Family Caregiver Application helps two-way communications and coordination of care for patients and their caregivers. The other workflow solution, the MedTrue™ application, which integrates different medication data sources to assist with medication reconciliation and adherence, resulting in a patient- and healthcare team-verified medication list.  

The applications – which were developed through an ongoing collaboration between Geisinger and Merck – are embedded directly within the electronic medical record (EMR) and in the healthcare provider’s workflow for optimal use of clinical and patient-reported data during patient appointments. The applications are also accessible to patients and the Family Caregiver Application is accessible to family caregivers.  Both workflow solutions can be used from the convenience of the home. 

The applications will use SMART on FHIR (Substitutable Medical Applications, Reusable Technologies / Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) technology, an open, standards-based platform for utilizing data from disparate EMRs, so both products can be used in healthcare systems anywhere.

“Our collaboration with Merck has allowed both of our organizations to leverage our individual strengths, expertise and resources to better enable a shared decision-making process through healthcare technology,” said David H. Ledbetter, Ph.D., Geisinger executive vice president and chief scientific officer. “Providing these tools for patients and family caregivers — tested within our own system — enables patients to be more active in healthcare decisions and could increase the likelihood that patients will adhere to their treatment plans and lead healthier lives.” 

In addition to being tested within Geisinger’s system prior to launch, real-world experience studies are being conducted to gather additional evidence on each solution’s effectiveness. 

“Our experience in collaborating with Geisinger, a progressive, integrated delivery system, has given us many insights on the development and testing of solutions to improve patient care and we are confident these applications can be successful with other health systems,” said Lisa French, associate vice president of strategy and commercial model innovation – U.S. market. "We are excited to begin the next phase of our work together, as we actively explore the expanded use and commercialization of these applications with other stakeholders in the healthcare system.” 

Background and Features of the Apps

The Family Caregiver Application features include:

  • Calendar that integrates medical and personal appointments and helps coordinate medical care (chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc.) 
  • Patient-managed medication scheduler based on  daily activities.
  • Allows patients to express preferences, values, and items/activities that are important to patients beyond the treatment of their disease.  
  • Provides  information on health care team members, including roles and contact numbers.
  • Journal-like feature to write notes and enable a narrative driven dialogue during the healthcare encounter.

The application was  developed and piloted in one of the most complex therapeutic areas – oncology – and is designed to be translated to other therapeutic areas to enhance coordination of family caregiving activities among medical and caregiving teams. “The Family Caregiver Application enables our team to create a more personalized experience with each patient during a very difficult time. With this application, we are able to engage with family caregivers on a deeper level by planning treatment appointments around important personal upcoming events and answer medical questions that the patient or caregiver may otherwise forget to ask during a scheduled appointment,” said Rajiv Panikkar, MD, Chair of the Geisinger Cancer Institute.

The MedTrue™ application features include:

  • Medication fill data from a national, leading prescription data aggregator agnostic of setting (e.g. Geisinger, non-Geisinger, inpatient, outpatient, specialty, etc.). 
  • Patient web interface for patient-reported medication verification, changes, and adherence, accessible in the home or upon arrival at a healthcare facility 
  • Healthcare team web interface through the patient’s EMR for point-of-care access to the patient’s validated medication list and adherence report

“We know from prior work that about 70 percent of our medication lists are inaccurate, and these inaccuracies can lead to medical errors,” said Mike Evans, Vice President of Enterprise Pharmacy and Chief Pharmacy Officer for Geisinger. The “MedTrue™ application provides an interface that seeks to clean up medication lists, so patients and providers can be on the same page regarding medication use and better care decisions can be made.” 

About Merck
For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world – including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

 

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1.5 million consumers it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 13 hospital campuses, a 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With 32,000 employees and 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by billions of dollars annually. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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For media inquiries:

Marc Stempka
Media Specialist
Marketing & Communications

570-214-3091
mstempka@geisinger.edu