Technology and healthcare are combining like never before – changing how people access, track and monitor their health. Racquel Abowd with Hometown Health talks about some of the new healthcare technology that is enhancing your quality of care.
From electronic medical records in your doctor’s office to watches that monitor your vital signs, technology and healthcare are inextricably linked. Here, we spoke with Racquel Abowd with Hometown Health to get insider hacks to help you make the most of technology.
Healthcare Technology: Q&A
Q: With cold and flu season coming up, doctors’ offices and urgent cares will be getting busier. What are some ways people can make sure they get in for treatment fast?
A: Renown has a few options to help. First, virtual check-in lets you make an appointment at urgent care, so you can essentially skip the line and wait in the comfort of your own home. Go to Renown.org, find “Urgent Care,” and there you can see which urgent care is the busiest and pick the appointment time that works best for you.
You can also try virtual visits, which allow you to securely videoconference directly with a care provider from a smartphone, laptop, tablet or computer with a web camera and microphone. This means you don’t even have to get out of bed for your appointment.
Q: There are also some more convenient ways to talk with your provider and see your test results, right?
A: Renown uses MyChart, which is a great tool that lets you directly message your provider questions. You can also view your lab results and upcoming appointments in one app. If you’ve received care at any Renown facility, you can sign up for MyChart.
Renown is also one of only about 100 hospitals in the nation that is tying in with Apple Health. This means you can connect your MyChart account with Apple Health and have everything in one place, if you want.
Q: We’re seeing technology used a lot more for people tracking and monitoring their health at home to get healthier. How does that help care providers?
A: I think it’s clear wearable wellness devices that track exercise and physiological information are here to stay. We’re also seeing more doctors’ offices, employers and even insurance companies promoting and integrating with these pieces, too.
For Hometown Health, our Healthy Tracks wellness portal is a state-of-the-art online system that aims to get members healthier. Healthy Tracks has a mobile app to try and make tracking your healthy habits – like eating and exercise – even easier. It can also tie into various health trackers like your FitBit to keep all your information up-to-date.
Q: What about the bills and paperwork associated with a doctor’s visit? Are there easier ways to work with that?
A: This is really exciting. Hometown Health, which is one of the largest insurance companies in northern Nevada, recently launched our own mobile app. The myHometown mobile app allows members to review claims and benefits as well as authorizations and referrals. There are settings that allow you to go completely paperless which cuts down on a lot of that paperwork. The app can also help you find a doctor or a pharmacy near you.