Medical software developer Best Practice Software announced the launch of the Best Health App, which lets patients view upcoming appointments and book online appointments if the practice uses an online appointment vendor.

The app also lets them receive and respond to appointment reminders, check-in for their appointments, and receive clinical reminders and other messages from their practice or GP.

In addition, the app provides a secure communication channel directly between patients and their practice that provides greater flexibility with the types of material that can be sent to the patient, offering a potentially significant time and cost savings to practices.

Company CEO Dr. Frank Pyefinch told HealthcareITNews the time saving benefits alone mean that valuable staff resources can be directed to other tasks, and the cost savings are significant with greatly reduced message costs and a reduction in printing and postage costs.

"A large percentage of people are accustomed to doing almost everything online at a time that fits in with a hectic lifestyle," Pyefinch explained. "Having a trusted app that is connected to your practice and provides the ability to manage medical appointments, reminders and other clinical information in the one place can provide peace of mind and empower people to take control of their health care journey."

Pyefinch noted it has taken the company close to three years to get to this point where they are confident that they have the right architectural framework to ensure all bases are covered in respect to practice and patient confidentiality and the security of all personal and clinical data.

"We have a solid foundational product that is clinically and technically safe and effective, upon which we can confidently build more features for practices and patients to meet the growing need in the community to have greater flexibility and control over their time and access to their clinical information," he said.

He explained security, privacy and storage of patient's sensitive data is critical and forms the architectural backbone of the Best Health App.

On downloading the App, two verified forms of ID are required to enable account creation – an email address and mobile number. Messages are exchanged using two levels of encryption.

Additionally, mobile devices have inbuilt security, meaning that anything stored locally is encrypted, and public access to all data has been blocked, and personally identifiable information and clinical data cannot be decrypted.

The company is already working on Phase 2 of the app, which will include additional ways to connect practices and their patients.

"As the Best Health App matures, we hope to make it the most valuable tool for our customers and the people they care for. It strengthens the relationship between provider and patient," BP director Lorraine Pyefinch told Healthcare IT News. "It should lead to better outcomes long term not only for individual health but may also reduce the financial burden of chronic disease on our community."

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