It was a chance encounter. Eugenia Chan, MD, MPH, and Eric Fleegler, MD, MPH, both worked at Boston Children’s Hospital, and had met one another once or twice, but only in passing.
Running into each other at a conference, they fell to chatting. Chan, a pediatrician in Developmental Medicine, was looking for a way to measure how well patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were responding to their medications. Fleegler, an emergency physician and health services researcher, described an online software program he developed to screen patients for health-related social problems and connect them with relevant services.
Two years later, Chan and Fleegler launched ICISS, the Integrated Clinical Information Sharing System, which monitors patients with ADHD and their changing medication responses. Parents, teachers and coaches fill out web surveys about the child’s symptoms and behavior. A physician can log in and have instant access to this information in graphical form–without having to spend 10 minutes of valuable appointment time asking basic questions about how the child has fared.
More than 1,700 patients now use the software, and Fleegler hopes to develop online tracking programs for neurology, psychiatry and adolescent medicine in the future. The platform is just one way doctors are connecting with patients and finding a way to provide more holistic, patient-centered care.