Ciox, Sentara Healthcare Pilot Data Access Tool to Improve Maternal Health

Ciox, Sentara Healthcare Pilot Data Access Tool to Improve Maternal Health

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Ciox — a company focused on increasing access to medical records — recently partnered with Virginia-based non-profit health system Sentara Healthcare to pilot a tool that makes it easier for expectant mothers to access their health records.

San Francisco-based Datavant acquired Ciox in a $7 billion deal that closed in 2021. One of Ciox’s leading products is its patient request tool, which allows patients to easily request their medical information from their provider.

“It’s a simplistic tool that takes a process that’s been arcane and complex — one that involved fax machines and showing up in person — and distills it down to a pretty simple, easy-to-fill-out form,” Shannon West, Ciox’s chief innovation officer, said in an interview.

Before launching its pilot program for maternal health with Ciox, Sentara Healthcare had already been using the company’s patient request tool. The health system has been partnered with Ciox for years, using its technology to help retrieve medical data for use cases such as closing care gaps, conducting Medicare risk adjustments and responding to payment integrity audits.

For the new pilot at Sentara, Ciox is enhancing its patient request tool to ensure more new mothers are able to access their medical records with the click of a button. With this enhancement, the tool uses a patient’s due date to calculate their future healthcare service dates, spanning from prenatal to postpartum care. After an expectant mother fills out a simple request form, Ciox sends them a summary via email.

The tool also gives patients access to all of their health data from about 10 months before they give birth to about 5 months postpartum, West said. 

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“Typically, your medical records from pregnancy don’t follow you as you visit different providers or return to your typical primary care doctor,” she pointed out.

The fact that patients’ pregnancy data get trapped in silos is problematic because providers can use that information to predict complications and intervene sooner, West declared.

To measure the impact of the pilot, Ciox and Sentara will measure the number of requests that expectant mothers submit. The partners will also collect qualitative feedback, as they solicit user comments from each request that is submitted, West said.

The pilot launched by Ciox and Sentara is a response to an executive order issued by the White House in late 2021, West said. The order specifically called on the Department of Health and Human Services to “test methods to automate patient access to electronic prenatal, birth and postpartum health records (including lab results, genetic tests, ultrasound images, and clinical notes) to improve patient experiences in maternity care, health outcomes, and equity.”

After the program, Ciox will make the enhancement to its patient request tool available to all of its customers nationwide. More than a thousand provider sites have implemented the patient request tool, and it has been used by more than 700,000 patients. Patient feedback reveals that more than 95% of those patients have been satisfied with the tool, Ciox said.

Photo: Prostock-Studio, Getty Images

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