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Company working on social media for medical community to connect

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, at 6:03 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, at 9:17 p.m.

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Although many physicians still use pagers, fax machines and handwritten documents, Adam Flynn wants to change that.

Flynn, co-owner of Kansas Inpatient Services and CEO of Electronic Medical Solutions, has been working on Priorus, a social media network that allows physicians to connect and securely share data about patients.

“In the rest of the world, we’ve learned that this type of social connectivity allows groups of people to collaborate,” Flynn said.

“We’ve seen that through all of the different social networks and mobile applications. We just want to use that type of technology and type of connection around critical patient information to get the providers together.”

What started as Flynn writing his own code has evolved into a company with two software engineers in Wichita, six engineers in India and a clinical trainer. He started working on the project in 2011.

The system operates similarly to Facebook in that physicians can write on patient profiles and share messages or posts with other physicians who also see that patient. It also allows for notifications so that physicians can be aware of what’s happening with a patient as it happens – such as when a patient is admitted to an emergency room.

“It keeps physicians alerted as to what’s going on with their patients rather than physicians having to be reactive as in the patient shows up in my office and now I need to look to see what’s happened to them in the last month,” Flynn said.

In typical health information exchanges, patient data is stored and has to be searched for information. But Priorus uses the data to populate a news feed for physicians. Patients do not have access to the site, and they can opt out of having their records shared among their physicians.

Flynn estimates there are about 1,000 users so far with more than 100,000 patients with information in the system.

In the next month, a new Priorus app for Apple and Android will be released. The company will also begin populating patient data from the 27 clinics in the Physician Alliance of Kansas into patient “feeds” for their physicians to see.

PAK is one of the first Accountable Care Organizations in Kansas under the Affordable Care Act.

The goal of Accountable Care Organizations is to find ways to reduce overall costs while meeting quality standards set by Medicare. Groups that meet those goals will share in the savings with Medicare.

“We couldn’t find anything on the market as good as Priorus taking care of peer coordination and episodic situations,” said Marlon Dauner, whose company, Health Dimensions, manages Specialty Independent Practice Association of Kansas and PAK.

“We want to assure all physicians taking care of patients have the most current information on their conditions and the services provided to a patient, and it allows us to track care during a given episode. It also allows them to communicate via secure text messaging,” Dauner said.

The system allows physicians to access documents and upload photos, and Priorus is partnering with a firm called Wellcentive to track data to measure its success.

“It will give us the ability to better track information we have to report to Medicare on the quality of care and transitions of care,” Dauner said.

The company charges practices based on the number of users it has, and there is an integration fee that will connect a clinic’s or hospital’s data to the service.

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_ryan.

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