Patient Data More Accessible Thanks to Carlson School Co-designed App

Friday, October 2, 2020

The healthcare industry now has an easier way to integrate healthcare data from patients, thanks to an award-winning app spearheaded by the Carlson School and the U of M’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI).

The app is called PRISM, which stands for Patient Reporting and Insight System from Minnesota. By answering a few questions on a smartphone, patients can more efficiently share their outcomes with doctors, saving time for both parties since PRISM will put that information directly into a healthcare provider’s electronic health records (EHR) system. It won the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Step Up App Challenge, and then was piloted successfully in multiple settings in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

“The PRISM app fundamentally changes how the healthcare industry works and makes it much easier to integrate patient data,” says Karaca-Mandic, the C. Arthur Williams Jr. Professor of Healthcare Risk Management. “I am so proud to work with experts from across the University as well as outside partners to be able to put this app together and be a force for good.”

Valuable Insights 

By integrating a patient’s responses with the healthcare provider’s EHR system, clinicians now have an easy way to access valuable health information not previously available to them. 

“Most providers want to incorporate a patient’s own health assessment into the clinical care experience, but implementing this across a healthcare system is extremely challenging,” says Steve Johnson, the project’s co-lead who serves as Scientific Director, Clinical Informatics Services, at the UMN Clinical and Translational Science Institute. “Because the app collects patient-reported data in a way that can be used by the provider’s EHR system, it arms clinicians with information that can improve diagnoses and patient outcomes.”

The open-source code used to develop the PRISM app is now available, allowing any healthcare provider to incorporate patient-reported data into their clinical care experience. Data can be used to provide insight into a person’s health status, function, and quality of life as well as evaluate the physical, mental and social health in adults and children.

PRISM can also show patients how their data compares to the overall population and provide personalized recommendations on how to improve their health. 

A Collaborative Effort

“It takes a ton of work from a variety of different partners to be able to put an app like this together,” said Karaca-Mandic, who is also the academic director of the Carlson School’s Medical Industry Leadership Institute (MILI). “We have the ideal mix of exactly who we need for this project to succeed.”

Other PRISM collaborators include De Liu, Carlson School professor of Information and Decision Sciences and 3M Fellow in Business Analytics; Carla Pavone, associate director of the school’s Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship; and Elisha Friesema, ’18 MBA, founder and principal consultant of EMF Consulting, and a member of the MILI alumni board.

Along with the Carlson School and CTSI, the app was developed by experts from the University of Minnesota Medical School, and Institute for Health Informatics, in partnership with Fairview Health Services, EMF Consulting, and Perk Motivation. Perk Motivation provided the software development for PRISM and incorporated engagement techniques from their experience developing other healthcare apps.