Sutter Health's 24 hospitals and its network of 4,700 physicians in Northern California have teamed up with iTriage, a mobile phone application that provides patients with data about doctors and nearby hospitals.
"This this app tool [for the iPhone and Droid phones] is a way patients can search for the care they need," said Jeff Burnich MD an internist and senior vice president and executive officer of the Sutter Medical Network of Sutter Health.
For starters, with iTriage, a free download, they can learn about doctor in the Sutter physician network. Potential patients can see a doctor's board certification or practice specialty, hours and office addresses, languages spoken, medical training and degrees, affiliations and referral networks, whether he or she accepts new patients, what health plans are accepted, and a photo. The information provided is based on a patient's proximity as determined by GPS location.
Eventually, the listing for each physician will come with scorecards rating the doctor for patient satisfaction based on Press Ganey surveys, quality of care scores, and even how much time one must wait for an appointment.
The iTriage app also lets users click on a set of certain symptoms to find possible cause, and direct to an appropriate specialty physician accordingly. For example, he says, pointing to certain symptoms involving the eye will reveal the closest practicing neuro-ophthalmologist. "Not just a neurologist or an ophthalmologist. But a neuro-ophthalmologist," Burnich says.