Partners HealthCare launches $100M digital health initiative

Boston-based Partners HealthCare announced Dec. 12 the launch of a five-year initiative to improve patient experience and boost digital innovation.

A major focus of the initiative will be increasing patients' engagement with their healthcare by providing access to digital tools, services and resources. These digital solutions will enable online appointment scheduling, video- and text-based virtual care, online access to medical records, upfront cost estimates, customized communication options and more.

Additionally, the initiative will build upon Partners' existing investments in data, technology and analytics, and develop innovative programs that ease the care delivery process for both patients and providers. Beyond providing funding and resources to accelerate early-stage projects, the initiative will provide the necessary infrastructure to scale projects across Partners HealthCare and the entire healthcare ecosystem, Alistair Erskine, MD, the health system's chief digital health officer, said in a news release.

The digital health initiative will further develop and deploy data and analytics tools by creating a unified approach to data management and use, enhancing bed capacity management, human resources, supply chain, revenue cycle operations and more.

Dr. Erskine told The Boston Globe his team has budgeted $100 million for the first 18 months of the initiative, and will pursue further funding as needed.

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