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iPad Solves Healthcare Providers' Clipboard Conundrum

Cynthia Johnson for HealthLeaders Media, June 8, 2012

Lanier describes Tonic as a data collection platform that works for all kinds of data. It replaces conventional tools used to register patients, assess risk, and measure patient satisfaction.

When used in lieu of a patient registration form, Tonic can ask typical registration questions; it can also ask questions related to why the patient is there by posing queries about pain. Physicians can include their own custom questions using the Tonic online survey builder, which is a self-service platform. Additionally, practices can pick from a variety of different premade surveys, tweaking them to suit their own needs, or create and deploy their own survey.

"Doctors have eight to 10 minutes with a patient," says Lanier. "They really only have time to address the one thing the patient is there for. Tonic allows for additional questions to beasked and harvested for the physician before the appointment." When used in lieu of conventional risk assessment methods, Tonic's software engine can calculate a patient's risk for a diseaseor condition. It can even provide patients with a specific percentage representing their risk, although some providers don't activate this feature.

As an example of Tonic's customizability, according to Lanier, a cardiovascular physician has Tonic ask questions about patient sleep patterns, because he feels there is a link between heart health and sleep disorders.

Additionally, a cardiovascular group using Tonic is calculating Framingham risk score profiles based on data provided by patients. The group's office gives patients their scores to educate them about their risk of getting heart disease. Identifying those at risk also helps physicians create disease or condition groups that require specific interventions. Lanier notes that becauseTonic can help identify at-risk patients earlier, the software can result in cost reductions.

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