Improving health care using information technology

Moyosore K. Onifade, M.D., is a groundbreaker in many ways. As an internal medicine specialist at Christian Hospital and CEO and chief innovation officer of Practical Health Technology Solutions (PHTS) Care Management, she has had a variety of careers, from information technology to medicine. Her work at PHTS, her passion for improving health information technology, and her dedication to the residents of North County are all factors in her success in the healthcare industry thus far.
Before working at PHTS and even before medical school, Dr. Onifade worked as a technical analyst with Anderson Consulting (now known as Accenture). She used her technology roots to advance medical practices for a community of patients who are described as at the highest risk of being left behind in a wide area of life in this decade. A graduate of both Stanford University and Washington University School of Medicine, Onifade chose to practice in North County St. Louis after her Barnes-Jewish Hospital residency.
At Christian Hospital, she uses her skills and expertise in cost-effective, quality primary care, compliant documentation, and technology in emerging healthcare. She now heads up PHTS, which was created by primary care physicians looking for an easier, more effective way to deliver quality care to their patients while continuing to grow their practice by providing revenue-generating quality care opportunities. Her performance still stands out across colleagues at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where she performed her residency.
“My undergraduate education, professional training, and service career in North County serve as the foundational catalyst for my firm belief that the greatest challenge in healthcare is creating new ways of caring for patients using health information technology,” Onifade’s bio reads.
When it comes to healthcare information technology, the list of challenges are numerous and wide-ranging from article to article. But the primary issues include difficulties reconciling new technologies with government regulation like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act and guaranteeing patient data and security.
But when healthcare and technology are integrated, like at the PHTS web portal MyPHTS ( http://myphts.net ), it benefits both doctors and patients. According to one testimonial from 70-year-old North County resident S. Johnson, “If I forget during the visit, I feel like the doctor has that information already. I see my doctor notices the details. I feel like my doctor has more time to focus on the things that really bother me because she’s already aware of the things that are okay.”
PHTS’s mission is to progress healthcare access and health outcomes through continued use of health information technology. The company’s MyPHTS Care Management software is a web-based portal that serves as an integrated system that houses everything from electronic health records to care plans. It is HIPAA-compliant and takes into consideration new technologies and regulations, such as emerging physician payment systems and automation.
Beyond the difficulties of incorporating technology into healthcare, another hurdle that Dr. Onifade is tackling is creating more access to care in communities that don’t normally gain much attention. By working primarily in North County, she is already bridging such gaps, though she is also working on removing barriers in other ways. After developing the physician advisor role at Christian Hospital Northeast (CHNE) in 2010, Dr. Onifade has continued on as a board member of CHNE.
When it comes to marrying healthcare technology and community care, Dr. Onifade said, “Whereas a past president challenged us to leave no child behind in education, I deeply believe our current challenge is to leave no community behind as health information technology increasingly becomes a means and a requirement for accessing quality cost-efficient care.”

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