Virtua, the largest comprehensive healthcare system in Southern New Jersey, has partnered with Skillman, NJ-based Zweena to offer free online Personal Health Records (PHRs) to consumers living in South Jersey. Virtua’s PHR program is intended to empower consumers to take proactive control over their health and more easily manage the health of their family, through a free one year subscription to Zweena for anyone living in Gloucester, Camden, and Burlington counties.
Consumers are becoming increasingly engaged in their health treatment, care, spending, and overall maintenance for themselves and the family members they care for — today 34 million Americans spend on average 21 hours per week as unpaid caregivers for other adults, usually elderly relatives. PHRs are one of the most powerful new tools to emerge for use in consumer self-care, the care and health maintenance of family members, and for protection against potentially life-threatening medical errors.
However, collecting medical records from doctors, using that information to create a PHR that can be shared and used by health providers, and then keeping a PHR current is a complex, difficult, and time-consuming process. Zweena powers the leading Internet-based platform for creating and managing a PHR, and is unique in that the company eliminates the complexity of creating and maintaining a PHR by doing all the work for the consumer. Using a “hybrid” approach to PHR creation and hosting, Zweena not only collects, organizes, scans, and digitizes paper health records into a single discreet data file or Zweena Health Record, but also securely stores the data directly in MicroSoft HealthVault.
This digitized health information is then accessible through Zweena’s proprietary web portal and via HealthVault. Every time an individual or family member visits a doctor, Zweena collects and updates their digital health record so it stays current. “We want to make Personal Health Record collection as easy as possible for our local community,” said Alfred Campanella, Chief Information Officer for Virtua. “We selected Zweena based on their expertise in digitizing patient health records, and their consumer-friendly patient portal, which makes it easy for a patient to obtain their records and keep vital health information current.”
Zweena is priced based on connections (ie. one doctor to one patient is a single connection) and subscription services start at less than $5 per month, with unlimited connections priced at $199 per year or roughly $17 per month. Under the partnership with Virtua, Virtua will be paying for the cost of a one year unlimited subscription to Zweena for consumers living in South Jersey.
Numerous physicians today are recommending PHRs to patients who are expecting mothers, parents with children, caregivers, consumers with health conditions who see multiple physicians, consumers traveling overseas, and to patients interested in keeping better track of their own health information. “Virtua is an innovation leader in health services, rapidly adopting the use of electronic health records in its own business,” said John Phelan, CEO of Zweena. “This partnership is an extension of the organization’s mission to innovate patient care, by empowering local consumers with the ability to better manage and maintain their health through leading-edge technology.”