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Cedars-Sinai Adds 2 More Digital Health Tools for Patient Care

The L.A. health system is launching a text-messaging platform for front-office communications and a resource for next of kin dealing with end-of-life care and planning.

- Cedars-Sinai is adding digital tools to both ends of the patient engagement spectrum.

The Los Angeles-based health system has announced two more partnerships with mHealth companies coming through the health system’s recent accelerator program. One improves the messaging process at the front end of the encounter, and the second eases the journey for family members needing end-of-life management services.

Cedars-Sinai will soon be installing a messaging platform that enables front office personnel to communicate with patients via text message. The platform includes routing rules to make sure the patient’s phone call or message is directed to the appropriate staff member, a secure portal for adding patient data into the medical record, and bots that provide automated responses to patient questions on appointment times, locations, directives and paperwork.

“The world has undeniably transitioned to a new communication medium and that’s messaging,” Guillaume de Zwirek, CEO of mHealth communications company WELL, said in a press release. “By pioneering messaging in the healthcare setting, Cedars-Sinai is helping end decades of ineffective and frustrating communication tactics.”

Cedars-Sinai executives say they hope to someday enable patients and providers to complete paperwork, pay bills and do other administrative tasks by text message.

The health system has also announced a deal with Grace, which has developed a digital platform that helps friends and family members dealing with a loved one’s death or terminal illness. The advanced care planning platform gives next of kin access to resources on issued like hospice care, funeral planning and costs, organ donation, dependent care, estate issues and other care management tasks.

WELL and Grace were part of Cedars-Sinai’s inaugural 11-member, 13-week Techstars Telehealth Accelerator program held earlier this year. In July, the health system announced partnerships with three other members of the program: AppliedVR, Home Hero and Zendy Health.

Another accelerator participant, Silversheet, announced will be working with the health system on a digital credentialing and privileging platform. 

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