McKesson Corporation (ticker: MCK, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
Innovative Web-Based `Online Symptom Advisor' Augments McKesson Corporation's CareEnhance Online Services
New Service Lets Health Plans, Hospitals Complement Care With Patient-Guided Program
SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Oct 23, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Today at the 4th Annual
Disease Management Leadership Forum, McKesson Corporation announced the
availability of its new CareEnhance(SM) Online Symptom Advisor, an
Internet-based point-of-care advice service. Online Symptom Advisor lets
healthcare consumers manage their healthcare decisions by utilizing the
company's patented triage algorithms.
"McKesson's Online Symptom Advisor is a user-friendly Web site that puts many of
McKesson's clinical tools into the hands of healthcare consumers who want to use
the Internet to get healthcare advice," said Ray L. Gottesfeld, M.D., chief
medical officer at McKesson Health Solutions, a business unit of McKesson.
"Ninety-five percent of healthcare decisions are made by consumers, and we are
now providing them with the information and power to help manage many of these
Online Symptom Advisor, part of the CareEnhance Online suite of triage and
disease management services, is designed for health plans that want to
complement CareEnhance Nurse Triage or Disease Management programs, and for
hospitals that wish to purchase the program to augment their own call center
services. Additionally, CareEnhance Online can be re-branded by the healthcare
organization to integrate with other Web services.
"The business goal with Online Symptom Advisor, as with all our CareEnhance
Online services, is to give health plans and hospitals additional cost-savings
options by helping healthcare consumers oversee their own healthcare decisions
and by guiding them to the most appropriate care," said Kevin Maher, vice
president of Triage and Web Services at McKesson Health Solutions.
In a recent research document, Gartner Inc. found that this type of service will
have significant ROI in the future. "By 2007, HCOs (healthcare organizations)
that are able to expand care management to more patients through the use of
guided self-care programs will see an ROI of 5-to-1," according to research
authored by Cynthia Burghard, Gartner Inc. research director, "Patient Care
Management Applications/Technology 2005."
Online Symptom Advisor provides care recommendations for pediatric and adult
injuries, illnesses and mental health concerns relying on the symptoms described
by the user. (The Web site is password-protected to ensure security, and the
Symptom Advisor helps to quickly analyze more than 130 medical conditions and
direct healthcare consumers to the most appropriate healthcare option.
Depending on the medical question, Online Symptom Advisor asks the user to:
-- View self-care instructions that include treatment advice and details about
additional symptoms that might occur in relation to the described ailment --
Visit or call a healthcare provider within a specific timeframe -- Go to an
urgent care center or emergency department -- Dial 911
The Online Symptom Advisor underwent thorough clinical testing in the emergency
department and clinic of a Florida integrated delivery network to evaluate the
service's efficacy, safety and patient usability. Online Symptom Advisor is the
only product of its kind that has undergone such rigorous safety testing.
Through this testing, McKesson's clinical content developers have ensured that
healthcare consumers can readily understand the questions and recommendations
made by the Online Symptom Advisor. Written at a 6th- to 8th-grade level in
easy-to-understand, non-technical language, medical questions lead the user
through "yes" and "no" questions to the appropriate care option. Ninety-seven
percent of people who tested the new service said that the questions were easy
or very easy to understand and answer.
In addition to proving high levels of patient satisfaction, the testing
demonstrated clinical safety and financial cost savings. Testing of nearly 700
patients in emergency department and urgent care settings found that nearly 40
percent of them could have been safely redirected to less acute, more
appropriate levels of care. An independent clinical evaluation of each patient
confirmed that by following the care recommendations provided by the Online
Symptom Advisor, patients would have received appropriate, safe medical care,
while reducing financial expenditures.
High-resolution screen shots of the CareEnhance Online
Symptom Advisor are available by contacting Jordan Gruener at
About McKesson Corporation
McKesson Corporation is the leading provider of supply, information and care
management products and services designed to reduce costs and improve quality
across healthcare. Founded in 1833, with annual revenues of more than US$50
billion, McKesson ranks as the 31st largest industrial company in the United
States. The McKesson Health Solutions business unit offers integrated
technologies and services for the payor, provider and pharmaceutical
manufacturer markets. The CareEnhance(SM) Services division provides call center
and online programs for disease management, nurse triage, early identification
and referrals. The CareEnhance(TM) Products division supplies workflow
technology that facilitates case, disease and utilization management; business
intelligence tools for measuring, reporting, and improving clinical and
financial performance; and InterQual(R) Criteria for clinical decision support.
The Specialty Pharmaceutical division supplies multiple channels with services
for specialty product dispensing, reimbursement, patient support and compliance,
and wholesale distribution.
McKesson Health Solutions
McKesson Health Solutions
Jordan Gruener, 303/664-6410