Healthcare Technology Featured Article

April 23, 2014

GNYHA Services and Essensa Adopt MedSnap ID

Two leading healthcare purchasing organizations, GNYHA Services Inc. and Essensa Inc., have recently added the MedSnap ID to their lists of technological product offerings. A MedSnap ID statement said this week that the two groups, which serve acute care, alternate care, and non-healthcare markets, have adopted the combination iPhone app and Snap Surface product in the ongoing effort to reduce the number of errors in patient medication histories.

MedSnap ID can identify a patient's medication history simply by analyzing an image of the medications a patient takes. It works by having the MedSnap smartphone app take a photo of a patient's pills, which the patient places atop the Snap Surface device. The Snap Surface is a rectangular piece of plastic that has a gray box printed on its center and four yellow dots printed on its four corners. A user can open up the MedSnap app, line up the dots on the Surface with the dots on his or her smartphone screen, and snap a photo. The app then processes the data it derives from each pill located in the gray box and shows the user a list of medications that correspond with those in the image.

The MedSnap announcement says, "According to Archives of Internal Medicine, more than 50 percent of patient medication histories taken on admission to a hospital contain at least one error, with nearly 40 percent of these errors having the potential to cause moderate to severe discomfort or clinical deterioration." This is often caused, it says, by leaving medication identification up to patients, who try to recite their medications from memory, or up to past health records or transcriptions of pill bottle labels. A clinician's visual identification of pills is reportedly the optimal practice, but it can be time consuming and difficult. As a result, that best practice is sometimes skipped in order to save time or make it easier on patients and their doctors.

The smartphone app's results can submit information to electronic health record (EHR) systems so clinicians can look up patients' results in the future. The MedSnap website says it only takes two minutes of patient interaction for doctors to have their patients confirm that the pills listed in the app's results are correct. It says that healthcare organizations can benefit from accurate histories because patients will continue to take the correct medications and experience better health outcomes as a result; it can also keep errors out of future records.

GNYHA Services provides supply chain services for greater than 300 hospitals across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Puerto Rico. Essensa provides supply chain management services for diagnostic centers, clinical laboratories, long-term care facilities, and universities, among many other types of organizations.  CEO of MedSnap, Patrick Hymel, commented on each company’s adoption of the MedSnap product. "We are very pleased that GNYHA Services has incorporated MedSnap ID into their innovative technology product portfolio," Hymel said. "We look forward to working with their members to help them improve patient medication safety."

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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