I love speaking with our customers

March 7, 2012 by

As a practice, I have members of my team set up brief 15 minute phone calls with our clients. I find that it is a great way for us to learn why people sign up with us, how they found us, etc… The several conversations to date have all been enjoyable and both parties appear to enjoy the opportunity to exchange ideas, feelings, and recommendations.

I had the pleasure of speaking with two different clients this week.

One couple was very happy with our Zweena service to date. Their goal is to have a Zweena Health Record so they can seek medical care from all around the US, picking from the best. They asked us some great questions and were filled with enthusiasm and hope.

The other conversation was a single man who needed to have all his records in one place. Having suffered from an unfortunate event, he was looking for the service provided by Zweena that would collect, and digitize his medical information and have it available for him 24/7. He too had this air of optimism and hope.

This week reminded me that people need a company like Zweena and that Zweena is here for all people who want to have their health records digitized. Their optimism and hope lifted my spirits and the spirits of my team. Being consumer focused has not been easy, but we remain dedicated to this effort of helping consumers have a digital record, for themselves, for their families, for their loved ones.

I look forward to talking to more of our customers. Be optimistic and be hopeful.

Managing Your Healthcare Records

October 24, 2011 by

From SheKnows.com:

1. Get Organized

Keep track of each medical provider you see, logging the names and locations of all clinicians along with the dates of medical visits. Record a history of medical providers from as far back as you can remember.

2. Select a Method

Decide which tracking method works best for you: A paper journal? A software program? The important thing is to select a method and stick with it for a complete record.

3. Ask for Access

Does your insurance company have a consumer portal? Does your doctor offer you access to your information online? Does your hospital system provide a patient secure web portal? Ask your doctors for copies of your records each time you go for a visit.

4. Be Prepared

Take a look at your records prior to your doctor’s appointment. Bring a copy of your medical history to doctor’s visits.  Use technology to capture your data and your family’s health information. This is especially important for caregivers and parents of young children, and women often take the lead on managing medical care in these roles. Having the right tools can also encourage men to become active participants in their own care and that of family members.

5. Delegate and Save Time

Compiling and managing health information is an important but time-consuming task. If you have no time, engage a service to get you started and to keep the records updated.

6. Keep Your Records Current

Make sure you make necessary changes and add important information by setting reminders to complete periodic updates. Updates can include new doctor’s visits, prescriptions or personal health notes.

7. Stay Informed

Many medical reference sites provide updates to subscribers. Establish an alert system to be informed of new medical recommendations and check for regular updates.

8. Make Sure Records are Accessible Away from Home or During Emergencies

When you’re on the road or dealing with a natural disaster like a hurricane,  earthquake or floods, it’s important to make sure you can access your personal health records. Consider an independent web-based solution to maintain access.

9. Get Started Slowly

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, break the records compilation task into smaller components. Start with yourself, then add your family members.

10. Be Empowered

Most people don’t think about their medical records until they’re facing a health issue. At that point, compiling records can seem overwhelming. If you’re prepared ahead of time, you are empowered: Get into the habit of using the information – it’s your health, so take control!

How To Fix The Personal Health Record Mess

September 26, 2011 by

So few Americans are interested in creating a digitalized PHR that Google had to close its service. But there are ways to get the public interested.

By Marianne Kolbasuk McGee InformationWeek September 26, 2011 08:00 AM

How many patients have taken on the project of digitizing their personal health records? My guess is not many. Most people who have bothered to collect and manage their healthcare information are more likely to have a large box somewhere at home stuffed with lab reports, hospital discharge instructions, and receipts for care, but have not bothered to take the next step.

Of course, there are small and large vendors out there who can help. And some health insurers and employers also offer assistance through consortium groups like Dossia. However, a lot that information is derived from claims data, which doesn’t always provide a complete picture of the patient either. Sometimes, the data suggests that blood work was done, for instance, but in fact it was ordered and paid for, but no results exist in the file.

Under the HITECH Act and HIPAA regulations, clinicians are supposed to offer patient copies or electronic access to their medical data, which could be used to populate a PHR. But for the most part, that’s being achieved through patient portals. And while portals can be convenient for patients, unless the individual gets all his or her care from one affiliated group of providers–like a Kaiser Permanente, for example–it’s still unlikely that the patient information will be complete.

So, what are patients to do if they want to create and manage their own complete e-health record? Too often it requires they supplement information already available in PDFs or images of scanned documents with a mish mash of assorted information from paper records. That scattered collection of information then has to be manually entered into the e-PHR. That’s a lot of work. And if the patient is elderly or suffers from a serious illness that’s driving him or her to gather all the information in one place, it may be too much.

[ Which healthcare organizations came out ahead in the IW500 competition? See 10 Healthcare IT Innovators: InformationWeek 500.]

 

One option is to use the services of a company like Zweena, a tiny Princeton, N.J.-based vendor offering a concierge service that manually tracks down paper-based medical records and inputs key data from those documents into an understandable and manageable digital record.

Over the last five years, Zweena’s small staff, which includes a nurse and medical coding expert, has created digitized healthcare records for about 450 individuals by combing through more than 3,500 pages of medical documents. With the patient’s signed authorization, their team sends requests for medical records to the individual’s doctors. When the patient’s records come in, they “abstract critical information” and enter that data into a new digital record.

The service ranges in price from $50 a year for a basic membership to $495 a year for an “unlimited, premium” plan, that gives members “unfettered access to Zweena staff.” With the premium service, Zweena nurses will answer questions about what a medical term in a record means, or they’ll have records printed out and mailed for someone who’s traveling.

Zweena also has a relationship with Microsoft so that patients’ Zweena records can be “pushed” into Microsoft HealthVault personal health records, “in case” individuals are uneasy about dealing with a small company like Zweena, said founder John Phelan.

Eventually, Zweena wants to allow bi-directional transfers of information between HealthVault and Zweena PHRs, so that patients can easily have digitized data updated into Zweena as more doctors agree to send patient electronic data to HealthVault and other consumer PHR platforms, said Phelan.

“There’s an evolution going on,” Phelan pointed out. “Google Health’s model didn’t work because they were focused on getting millions of eyeballs” for their PHR site, he said. “But it’s really about putting the patient at the center of their information,” and making it easy.

Find out how health IT leaders are dealing with the industry’s pain points, from allowing unfettered patient data access to sharing electronic records. Also in the new, all-digital issue of InformationWeek Healthcare: There needs to be better e-communication between technologists and clinicians. Download the issue now. (Free registration required.)

Zweena Aggregates Your Medical Records For Easy Management

September 21, 2011 by

One of the biggest challenges facing consumers when it comes to their health is the ability to manage, consolidate and track their medical history. We all know the drill: every time we change a healthcare provider, we need to somehow reproduce our medical records for the new provider, and yet maintain our privacy – a situation exacerbated by an increasingly mobile population.

But there are new innovators in this space who seek to simplify this. One of the latest is Princeton, New Jersey-based Zweena (www.zweenahealth.com), an online Personal Health Record (PHR) service for consumers to manage and protect their health records. It is essentially a digital medical records aggregator that takes care of everything; from collecting paper records, to translating through the jargon, to securely storing it all online. Customers no longer have to dig through filing cabinets or call up all the doctors they’ve seen over the years. It’s all online, secured, and easy to manage and access.

“I became frustrated with my inability to conveniently create and maintain a digital copy of my medical records.” Zweena founder John Phelan
John left a 17-year career in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry to start the company in 2006.
“I was banking online and brokering online, and yet my health records and the records of my wife, four children and other loved ones were in a dark office on a shelf – difficult to access and inconvenient to share with healthcare providers.”

Leveraging Technology

The current US healthcare system, Phelan says, is a “disaggregated group of silos”. The key problem is that individuals simply do not have a central place to store and maintain their medical records, certainly not in digital format. And if they relocate, change jobs or change insurance, current systems don’t allow access once a member leaves the system. It’s made worse by the fact that most consumers wouldn’t even know where to begin to locate all their historical medical data in the first place. Phelan’s goal was to provide users with a web-based solution to collect, scan and transfer paper records to create a structured data set of their medical history. “Medical records form the overall health picture. Being an empowered medical consumer starts with having access to this vital data,” insists Phelan.

“How do we help individuals – and possibly their families – to become more engaged healthcare consumers? Can’t we use the technology we have available today to help? Zweena.

Up until a few years ago, the attention was predominantly on digitizing records for hospitals and doctors, and – ironically – consumers were left out of the equation. They simply had no access to their own healthcare data.  Zweena – which means ‘beautiful’ in Arabic – solves that problem by offering consumers a service that collects and digitizes those records, and allows them, through a web-based application, to securely access and share that information. And since Zweena is effectively non-partisan, access to that information is for life, even if you change jobs or insurance providers. “Access to this data empowers consumers, helps providers make better care decisions and can prevent medical errors,” states Phelan.

But the going is not easy. The key challenges facing Zweena, though, is money and people. “Zweena is seeking first-round financing that will help the company grow and add the right people. We have revenue and a sound business model – we have the basic foundation for solid growth. Creating Zweena brand awareness and growing our client base is the critical next step for us.”

Zweena® CEO John Phelan Discusses The Structured Health Data Revolution

July 13, 2011 by

Zweena® CEO John Phelan Discusses The Structured Health Data Revolution And Its Role In Personal Health Records During 2011 New Jersey Health Information Exchange Summit

Skillman, New Jersey – July 13, 2011 – Zweena®, which powers the leading patient portal for creating and managing a fully digital Personal Health Record (PHR), today announced that Zweena CEO John Phelan will discuss the structured health data revolution and its critical role in personal health records during the 2011 New Jersey Health Information Exchange Summit.

Established U.S. standard structured health data formats, such as Continuity of Care Record (CCR) and Continuity of Care Document (CCD), enable health care providers to share and exchange patient health record information more efficiently and improve quality of care. Similarly, converting health records into structured health data for consumer use in PHRs enables consumers to more easily share those records directly with providers for use in clinical care, and provides access to a new array of health tracking and maintenance services.

“With structured health data, your blood pressure, for example, becomes a digital number which can be used to plot multiple measures over time, or offer intelligence based on high or low blood pressure levels,” said John Phelan, CEO of Zweena “As consumers nationally are becoming increasingly engaged in self-care and their own health maintenance, structured health data opens the door to a revolution in self-care and is the critical link that will accelerate consumer PHR adoption in America.”

About Zweena

Zweena® powers the leading Internet-based platform for creating and managing a Personal Health Record (PHR), connecting individuals and their family members to the medical community of doctors and providers they rely on to manage and maintain their health. Partnered with Microsoft HealthVault®, Zweena transforms paper medical records into scanned and organized structured data files, eliminating the complexity of creating and managing a PHR on one’s own. Medical record professionals do all the work assuring consistent accuracy and timely updating.

The Zweena Personal Health Record is accurate, current, and can be used in self-care, the care of family members, and shared with healthcare providers via an individual’s secure Personal Health Community (PHC), anywhere in the world. For information on Zweena, visit: www.zweenahealth.com.

Founder of ZweenaJohn Phelan | Founder & CEO

With over 17 years of healthcare/pharmaceutical experience, John is the vision behind Zweena. He left the pharmaceutical industry to embark on what he sees as a great opportunity to help shape and influence the developing consumer healthcare movement. John currently resides in Princeton, NJ with his wife and four children. // // Email

The Importance Of Structured Data In Personal Health Records

July 5, 2011 by

As an individual, a patient, why should I care about “Structured Data”, and what is it?

To be clear, Structured Data in health care is everything. Or will be everything. Period. End of story.

Today, most of us have medical information on paper, in a manila folder, on a shelf in your doctor’s office. The information is handwritten and unless you ask for a copy, the information just sits there doing nothing, until someone looks at it. Probably not you. You certainly are not looking at it, only because the culture in this country is to separate the patient from their data. This is what we need to change and why “Structured Data” is so important.

Inclusive of digital images, the information contained in everyone’s health record needs to be in structured data format. No handwriting here. Here we are just dealing with “ones” and “zeros”, what is the language of the digital age. So now your blood pressure is a digital number which can harness the power of computing to do many things, like plotting multiple measures over time, or offering intelligence based on high or low levels. The examples are endless and the advantages are what the US Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) is trying so hard to encourage. This consumer engagement in health, being accountable for our information is exciting and daunting.

As individuals, how can we get our medical encounter data converted to structured data? Well, if you go to a doctor who has an Electronic Health Record, your office visit and his notes and orders will be captured electronically into structured data. Same with a clinic or hospital visit. Over the next 10 years, doctors and hospitals will move in this direction. But, chances are that you have no access to this data because you seeing your data has never part of the plan. Until now.

If your doctor/hospital does not have an EHR, then you, the individual are left to fend for yourself, or you need to find someone, a service, that can do this for you. These are your choices.

My company, Zweena (www.zweenahealth.com) exists purely for you, the individual, to collect, organize and create your structured data directly from the health records you have asked us to collect. Much simpler than doing this yourself; believe me, I have tried.

So with the help of Zweena, or not, once the information is in one of the US established standard data medical sets (either CCR or CCD), the opportunities are endless. Sounds easy? Not really. As structured as the data is, getting it there is creating a medical revolution in the US, and around the world is what we will be working toward. Revolutions are exciting and bring change which can be good. We are about making the change happen at ground level. Join us and be part of this change! You will be glad you did.

Founder of ZweenaJohn Phelan | Founder & CEO

With over 17 years of healthcare/pharmaceutical experience, John is the vision behind Zweena. He left the pharmaceutical industry to embark on what he sees as a great opportunity to help shape and influence the developing consumer healthcare movement. John currently resides in Princeton, NJ with his wife and four children. // // Email

Zweena working with Burlington County College for June 9th Consumer Digital Health Day

May 25, 2011 by

Zweena® Revolutionizes Personal Health Records With New Internet Application and Service For Individuals And Their Families

Partnered With Microsoft HealthVault®, Zweena Eliminates The Complexity Of Creating And Managing A PHR. Individuals use Zweena in Self-Care, Family Care, And Protection Against Medical Errors

Skillman, New Jersey – December 13, 2010 – Zweena today launched its revolutionary new Personal Health Record (PHR) web service, featuring a proven proprietary platform that eliminates the complexity of creating and managing a personal digital health record. Partnered with Microsoft HealthVault, Zweena enables consumers to create and maintain a personally controlled health record for meaningful use in self-care, care of family members, and to share medical records directly with healthcare providers, via the Internet.

Zweena’s innovative platform collects medical records on behalf of individuals, creates a PHR based on the Continuous Care Record (CCR) guidelines outlined by the American Academy of Family Practice, and then stores both scanned and structured data within the individual’s own secure Personal Health Community (PHC) for sharing with family members, and directly with healthcare providers.

“Eighty-six percent of Americans or higher say that PHRs could help them avoid duplicated tests, keep doctors informed, check the accuracy of their medical records, and track personal health expenses, yet only seven percent use PHRs today, due to the complexity in creating and maintaining a PHR with existing services,” said John Phelan, CEO of Zweena. “Recognizing the urgency and need for consumers to have accurate and current PHRs, Zweena developed a revolutionary service that makes personal digital health records easy to set up, keep current, and share in a secure network for use in self-care and care of family members.”

About Zweena

Zweena®, taken from the Moroccan name meaning “beautiful”, connects individuals and their family members to the medical community of doctors and providers they rely on to manage and maintain their health. Zweena powers the leading Internet-based platform for creating and managing a Personal Health Record (PHR).

Partnered with Microsoft HealthVault®, Zweena transforms paper medical records into scanned and organized discreet data files, eliminating the complexity of creating and managing a PHR on one’s own. The Zweena Personal Health Record is accurate, current, and can be used in self-care, the care of family members, and shared with healthcare providers via an individual’s secure Personal Health Community (PHC), anywhere in the world. For information on Zweena, visit: www.zweenahealth.com.

Founder of ZweenaJohn Phelan | Founder & CEO

With over 17 years of healthcare/pharmaceutical experience, John is the vision behind Zweena. He left the pharmaceutical industry to embark on what he sees as a great opportunity to help shape and influence the developing consumer healthcare movement. John currently resides in Princeton, NJ with his wife and four children. // // Email

How does Zweena ensure the security of my information?

May 2, 2011 by

Protection against Interception & Tampering

To access your ZHR, you will be given a unique user ID and password that ensures your information cannot be viewed or changed by anyone else. VeriSign®, a nationally recognized SSL Certification Service, is used to validate that Zweena is communicating only with the certified user’s computer. Your communication with Zweena will be validated with the SSL service encrypting every keystroke and all data exchanged. A new validation is created every time and is never used twice, even by the same customer, so you can be certain that no one can pretend to be you. Even if someone intercepted the transmission, they would require military-level technology to have a chance at deciphering the code.

Protection against intrusion

Our systems are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week against intrusion, both automatically and by security personnel. For your security, Zweena cannot share the precise nature of its defenses against electronic intrusion; however, for someone to electronically penetrate our system and get to your data, they would need to break through two firewalls, two intrusion detection systems (electronic intrusion monitoring) and then decipher our encrypted database.
The second component of security is physical security. Our computer center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Protection against loss

All Zweena servers utilize redundant storage devices. If one server hard drive fails, the component can be replaced and continue operation without losing data. All Zweena servers are backed up daily, and we maintain secure off-site backups in two states, protecting you even in the face of a regional disaster.

Founder of ZweenaJohn Phelan | Founder & CEO

With over 17 years of healthcare/pharmaceutical experience, John is the vision behind Zweena. He left the pharmaceutical industry to embark on what he sees as a great opportunity to help shape and influence the developing consumer healthcare movement. John currently resides in Princeton, NJ with his wife and four children. // // Email

Parents & Personal Health Records: Do You Know The Score?

April 19, 2011 by

As a parent, our children have numerous athletic activities. Is it me or do sports feel more violent today than when I was young and competing? Sidelines are now adorned with kids in boots, on crutches nursing wounds. Today, being injured is not “if” but “when”. So having your daughter’s or son’s medical information readily available via an online personal health record (PHR) makes that trip to the Emergency Room (ER) less frustrating and more efficient. Case in point:

This weekend my boys and I watched our 17 year old college bound soccer superstar friend from Maryland play soccer. This is U-18 Travel soccer and it features the highest levels of soccer; soccer at its best…and sometimes…its worst.

At one point the goalie went up to make a save, the next, he was lying on the ground, face down. During the save, he had been projected against the metal goal post by an opposing player. His head made violent contact with the post. It all happened in an instant. The noise was chilling; I knew it was bad.

The goalie on the ground with his dad hovering over him was at “when”. “Do you know what day it is? Do you know what year? Do you know the score?” I asked the dazed goalie, now lying face up, eyes swollen, drifting in and out of sleep.

“No” was his response.

“Hang in there” I responded. We kept him awake until the EMS team came and transported him to a level 2 trauma center nearby.

Fortunately the player only suffered a mild concussion, but as a parent, being prepared for an emergency can be the difference in spending more or less time in the ER, when time and pain are critical variables. A digital personal health record gives you access to your child’s medical history, x-rays, and their last tetanus shot when you need it most — the critical moment when an ER doctor asks for a medical history.

Founder of ZweenaJohn Phelan | Founder & CEO

With over 17 years of healthcare/pharmaceutical experience, John is the vision behind Zweena. He left the pharmaceutical industry to embark on what he sees as a great opportunity to help shape and influence the developing consumer healthcare movement. John currently resides in Princeton, NJ with his wife and four children. // // Email