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As Development Director for HealthInsight, Ms. Percheski directs and coordinates activities that support the development of new business and grant opportunities. She has provided administrative expertise to HealthInsight for over 20 years, with a focus on development activities since 1991. She is a Certified Grant Professional (GPC) and a founding member and past president of the Nevada Grant Professionals Association. She has presented training seminars on proposal development and grants management; and has contributed to a book chapter on proposal development for the public health professional. She is a scholar of the Great Basin Public Health Leadership Program and received her Master of Business Administration from Western Governor’s University in 2009.

Patient Portals Wish List

Senior Couple Using Computer

Recently, when I arrived at my new dermatologist's office, I noticed an iPad was sitting on the counter instead of a clipboard, and a patient was working his way through the sign-in process. The receptionist handed me a clipboard with several sheets of paper, instructing me to fill them out. She explained that, by later that afternoon, all of my information would be in a patient portal, a secure website that gives patients 24-hour access to personal health information, and I would be able to update it, if needed.

As promised that afternoon, I received an email with a note telling me how to log in. After clicking the link and following some simple instructions, I arrived at a dashboard that prominently showed my next appointment and links to other areas of my record. The information from the forms I had filled out was there along with the notes from the visit. Two weeks later, I wanted to access the portal to see if my lab results were in. I couldn't remember the link to the site or locate the email, so I went to the clinic's website and found a link to the patient portal. The portal was easy to use, and I had all of my information right at my fingertips.

I am somewhat familiar with patient portals because I have used them before. Another portal I occasionally access, while offering secure emailing, summaries of visits, prescriptions and labs, is a bit "clunky" to use. It provides the basics; it's just not as easy to use.

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25 Years of Advancements: Change at HealthInsight and in Health Care

Open Road

Twenty five years ago I stepped into the HealthInsight office, then called Nevada Peer Review, in Las Vegas and began my career in health care improvement. I was thrilled to have an advanced piece of equipment—an IBM Selectric self-correcting typewriter. Staff used dumb terminals to verify patient information for our Medicaid and Medicare review work, and our health care analysts had very large computers taking up a good bit of space in their office. Within a couple of years, we all upgraded to PCs and before long, cables and cords were draped everywhere as we established our first company-wide network.

We’ve come a long way at HealthInsight, and as I reflect upon my 25 years here, I think about the advancements made in health care over that same time period, and which of those, in my opinion, have had the biggest impact. There are many, and I’m sure each advancement may resonate differently, depending on your own personal perspective. These are just a few that made my list—focused on either public policy impacting an individual’s ability to manage their own care or technology advances.

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Hearing the Patient’s Voice

Mother with daughter

My dear friend Carol is very ill. She's been in the hospital in the intensive care until (ICU) for over two weeks, and though there are small signs of improvement in some areas, there are also setbacks in others. What is most frustrating for me is the inability to communicate with her. Although she is sometimes aware loved ones are with her, she's unable to participate in her care—unable to speak, write or let us know what she's thinking.

As is the case with many who end up in the ICU, she didn't have an advance directive, living will, Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form, medical power of attorney, do not resuscitate or other instrument that contains the voice of the patient.

As I concern myself about what Carol would want, I also think about what I would and wouldn't want under similar circumstances. I know I wouldn't want my husband and sister to have to "guess" my wishes.

  • I would want them to have a starting place
  • I would want them to know there is a plan I have thought about that provides a guideline for their decisions
  • I would want to help make their choices as easy as possible

It's confusing though—does a person need to have all of the documents mentioned above? What's the difference between them? How are they used?

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Trading Places: Lessons Learned by a Caregiver Who Became a Patient

Doctor with Patient and Family

Recently, I was admitted to a hospital for the first time in my adult life. While I'd experienced hospitalization (and subsequent follow-up visits with specialists) from the caregiver/advocate point of view, I had not actually been a patient before. This gave me a new perspective on both roles.

I learned that I'm much more anxious as a caregiver than as a patient. Surprisingly, as a patient, I found that I was able to wait and see what the tests revealed without focusing on "what if" scenarios. As a caregiver, I am much more nervous and always thinking about how to prepare for the various possibilities.

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Signs of Positive Change in Health Care

Doctor with Patient

I was pleasantly surprised when I accompanied my husband to a new cardiologist after his recent overnight stay in the hospital. Having been through this routine about five years earlier, we were expecting he would have to submit to a new battery of tests, sign a release form to request records from the hospital, and schedule another visit to correspond with their receipt. This time, it was different. The staff accessed his hospital records with all relevant test results in a matter of seconds through their electronic system. The physician reviewed the results with my husband, and proceeded with his consultation.

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Has Your Organization Explored ACA Funding Opportunities?

Doctor With Laptop

HealthInsight and many of our partners have benefited from the substantial grant and demonstration program dollars made available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most of those programs are well underway in a number of communities.

At HealthInsight, we have been awarded two ACA grants/cooperative agreements (and have a third application pending) from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMI). Our Admissions and Transitions Optimization Program (ATOP) in Nevada is one of seven locations across the nation and is aimed at reducing avoidable hospitalizations among nursing home residents. Our Strong Start initiative supports pregnant women in Nevada in reducing pre-term births and low birth weight babies. In addition to bolstering our business portfolio, these opportunities have helped us increase capacity and expertise in emerging fields and further develop our project implementation and management skills in different settings.

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How Much Do You Know About HealthInsight?


Three Generation Family In ParkYou may be aware of HealthInsight through a specific project or activity in which you participate.  Perhaps you’re a HealthInsight board member or involved in one of our regional health collaboratives, the Nevada or Utah Partnerships for Value-driven Health Care and the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality.  Maybe you work with us on a health information technology initiative or have partnered with us to improve care in your setting.  Long time affiliate or first introduction, I’d like to share some of our recent work that can make a difference for us all: engaging patients and families in their own health care.

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