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Vynca, a provider of sustainable advance care planning solutions, and Sutter Health, a not-for-profit health care network in Northern California, today announced a collaboration to improve doctor and patient communication and documentation focused on advance care planning.
Vynca offers a comprehensive software solution to capture, store, and access Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms, which are vital in ensuring that patients’ end-of-life wishes are met. Sutter Health will adopt the Vynca platform throughout its system, which includes hospitals, doctor’s offices, and home care providers.
“We are excited to support Sutter Health and its commitment to honoring patients’ end-of-life choices,” said Ryan Van Wert, M.D., chief medical officer and co-founder of Vynca. “The many challenges surrounding advance care planning are well documented, and the impact on patients and families when their wishes aren’t met can be significant. Our technology will help Sutter Health providers navigate conversations with patients and families, accurately document patient preferences, and easily access POLST forms when needed.”
“We are always looking for ways to improve how our clinicians engage with and support patients and their families through advance care planning discussions and decisions,” said Elizabeth Mahler, M.D., Sutter Health’s vice president for Patient Health Management and chief medical officer of Sutter Care at Home. “We care for many patients across our network who face serious illnesses. It’s important that they feel supported in their decisions and have confidence that their wishes will be respected and met.”
POLST forms allow people with serious, life-limiting illnesses to document their care preferences. However, the lack of infrastructure to support and sustain an electronic registry can make it difficult for providers to find and access patients’ documents, especially during emergencies. In addition, patients’ end-of-life wishes are accurately documented only about 30 percent of the time,1 andabout 25 percent of paper forms have an avoidable error that renders them unusable.2
Vynca’s robust platform ensures that documentation truly reflects patient preferences, enabling best practices for advance care planning. Completed documents are easily accessible by multiple providers across a variety of care settings. The platform offers seamless provider workflow through electronic health record (EHR) integration, which eliminates redundant data entry, improves accuracy, and saves time.
This collaboration with Sutter Health will extend Vynca’s footprint in California, where it was selected as the technology vendor for the California Health Care Foundation’s POLST Pilot Initiative. Through that effort, Vynca will develop and test a secure, cloud-based web portal for electronic submission, storage, and retrieval of POLST data to improve access for providers across the care continuum.
About Sutter Health
Sutter Health’s integrated network of physician, employee and volunteer pioneers—more than 60,000 people strong—make it one of the nation’s top five large health systems. Rooted in Sutter Health’s not-for-profit mission, these team members partner to deliver exceptional care that feels personal. From physician offices to hospitals to outpatient care centers and home services, they proudly support and learn from the more than 3 million people in their care. Sutter care pioneers adopt new technologies, make novel discoveries, and embrace creative thinking to help patients and communities achieve their best health. From its street nurse program that provides check-ups for homeless people, to telemedicine-aided specialist consultations, to walk-in care clinics, to smart glass technology, the Sutter Health team goes beyond traditional models to make care more convenient and to nurture and empower people throughout their medical journey. For more information about the Sutter Health network, visit sutterhealth.org, facebook.com/sutterhealth, youtube.com/sutterhealth, and twitter.com/sutterhealth.
Vynca, based in Palo Alto, Calif., provides comprehensive advance care planning solutions that enable healthcare organizations to deliver consistent, high-quality end-of-life care. The company helps patients and healthcare providers have meaningful conversations about care preferences, document wishes accurately, and provide real-time access to this critical information throughout the care continuum. Vynca offers expertise in building state registries, having partnered with the Oregon POLST Registry. It also was selected as the technology vendor for the California POLST Registry Pilot. The system is customized to the needs of healthcare organizations and state agencies, and provides full EHR integration. For more information, visit www.vyncahealth.com/. Follow Vynca on Facebook and Twitter @VyncaHealth.
Heyland D, Barwich D, Pichora D, et al. Failure to engage hospitalized elderly patients and their families in advance care planning. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(9):778–787.
Zive, D. Oregon POLST Registry Annual Report. Oregon, 2015.
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