System1, a Los Angeles-based marketing platform company, announced this week that Epic Systems had selected its Mapquest for Business services to provide mapping, navigation and geolocation functionality.
Company representatives say MapQuest’s location and mapping data will help patients find nearby or conveniently located clinicians. It will also assist home health providers in getting to their destinations efficiently.
“Location data changes the way we can orchestrate and analyze care,” said Epic engineering lead Drew McCombs in an email to Healthcare IT News.
“Patients and caregivers will be able to take advantage of mapping, search, routing, turn-by-turn directions, traffic-aware travel times, and spatial analytics across multiple applications.
“For example,” McCombs added, “patients will be able to find a service location closest to them, get to appointments faster and automatically alert the front-office staff when they have arrived.”
WHY IT MATTERS
The vendors say Epic will enable the option to use MapQuest’s location and mapping services across dozens of its workflows. McCombs also touted the role the partnership could play in promoting health equity.
“Clinicians can use location services to optimize home visits or analyze their impact in underserved areas, or investigate disease-related ‘hunches,'” McCombs said.
System1 representatives emphasized the importance of privacy and security alongside convenience.
“Our ability to step up and commit to treating data in a HIPAA-compliant manner opens up a number of new avenues for us to bring our expertise and competitive pricing to new partners,” said System1 President of Commerce and Travel, Stewart Marlborough.
“We believe that the future for MapQuest is very bright as consumers consider more carefully who has access to their location and other sensitive data at all times,” Marlborough continued.
“Location data will have the same security protections as any other element in the chart,” added McCombs.
THE LARGER TREND
Some health IT innovators and providers have turned to location and mapping services to assist with care. For instance, in 2017, Allscripts announced that it had partnered with Zocdoc to help patients with finding doctors and scheduling appointments.
The technology has also been used in a public health setting, particularly amidst the COVID-19 crisis: Google announced this past April that it would use anonymized, aggregated GPS data to help monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus.
ON THE RECORD
“MapQuest has long valued our partnership with Epic, and this new avenue for collaboration reflects our commitment to providing outstanding, reliable and customer-centric location and data solutions for leading healthcare systems around the world,” said Marlborough.
Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.
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