Earlier this week, Dell (the computer folks) announced that they’ll be offering their employees a new benefit:
“electronic health records that track their insurance claims and drug prescriptions, which the computer giant says is a key step toward letting its 26,000 staffers coordinate their own care in a bid to improve medical safety and contain costs.”
The idea is that employees’ claims info will be fed directly into the database (dontcha just love the jargon?), enabling those employees better and quicker access to their health information.
Dell’s goal is to enhance preventive care, which the company sees as a key to controlling its health care costs. It seems to be a “smart” system, as well:
“as new information is added to a worker's personal health record, the system will send out automated alerts about the kind of care that patient should get next.”
I’d be curious to see how this impacts long term health care trends at Dell. The premise seems to be that by encouraging its employees to be more proactive and informed, the company can keep rate increases down. Of course, that will depend in large part on what percentage of their workforce chooses to participate. Interesting idea, worth watching.