Using Digital Health Technology to Improve Health Literacy

Posted by Bill Lindsay on Jun 22, 2017 2:12:00 PM

Only 12% of American adults are considered health literate. Why does this matter to patients and healthcare providers alike?

First, high levels of health literacy are associated with better patient self-care and outcomes. Second, attentiveness to this can be an effective way to improve population health. Digital health technology is a means to this end. 

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Topics: Population Health Management, Patient Education, Digital Patient Engagement, Patient Activation Measure, Innovation, Technology

3 Ways to Improve Care Coordination Through Digitization

Posted by Jo Charest on Jun 12, 2017 2:30:00 PM

American healthcare is one of the last industry holdouts when it comes to fully embracing digitization. McKinsey Global Institute has ranked healthcare 19th out of 22 sectors in its oft-cited Industry Digitization Index.

Even as health systems implement digital health tools and practices, many of these technologies remain separate, leading to a disconnected patient experience.

But there is hope for the digitization of healthcare! Many digital health tools are designed to automatically link information from different digital sources, creating efficiencies that result in a better experience for patients and better workflows for staff.

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Topics: Hospital Workflows, Digital Patient Engagement, Value-Based Care, Patient Experience, Patient-Centered Care, Health Care Interoperability, Technology, Digital Patient Interactions

How Does Healthcare Engage Patients Amid So Many Distractions?

Posted by Jo Charest on May 31, 2017 8:30:00 AM

How many distractions will you be faced with today?

Our lives are filled with interruptions, which make getting and keeping someone’s attention harder than ever. It’s commonly said that U.S. adults are barraged with an average of 5,000+ advertisements and brand exposures every day. Only 12 of these actually make an impression.

So how do we slow the rapid-fire beat of distraction in patients’ everyday lives to truly engage them in their health?

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Topics: Digital Patient Engagement, Patient Activation Measure, Patient Experience

Tap Into Human Nature to Engage Patients

Posted by Debra Zalvan on May 23, 2017 8:45:00 AM

One of my favorite health quotations comes from Florence Nightingale’s classic Notes on Nursing: What it is and What it is Not: 

“Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion.”

The phrase, in a book first published in 1859, speaks to the idea that patients have strong, often conflicting emotions related to whatever care episode they’re dealing with. Pair those feelings with the fact that health information can sometimes be unfamiliar and scary, and it’s understandable that patients have a hard time comprehending and retaining a doctor’s instructions and advice.

At UbiCare, we believe there are 3 key dimensions that effective healthcare education must include to address patients’ emotional needs, impact their behavior and, ultimately, improve their health outcomes.

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Topics: Digital Patient Engagement, Patient Activation Measure, Patient Experience

Using Population Health for Personal Connections with Patients  [Infographic]

Posted by TJ Hearn on Apr 4, 2017 11:09:00 AM

For some time now, health systems have been expected to use digital technology to manage a patient’s episode of care beyond the doctor’s office or hospital.

Harnessing the wealth of data on patient populations experiencing the same care episodes, digital health technology can connect providers with their patients safely, efficiently and on a large scale.

Best of all, providers can guide whole populations through their care in a way that feels extremely personal to patients.

This infographic offers some insight. 

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Topics: Hospital Workflows, Quality of Care, Patient Outcomes, Digital Patient Engagement, Value-Based Care, Patient Provider Communication, Patient Experience, Patient-Centered Care, Technology

Engaging the Modern Patient [Infographic]

Posted by TJ Hearn on Feb 14, 2017 11:25:00 AM

Hospital executives and patient educators often ask me how patients—particularly younger ones—like to communicate with their doctors nowadays in the age of millennials and apps.

Patients are people and we need to engage them as such. Regardless of age or other factors, they use email and text all the time in their daily lives and want to communicate with their doctors, hospitals and physician practices through those channels too. 

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Topics: Digital Patient Engagement, Patient Provider Communication, Texting

Direct-to-Patient Email and Text Communication Is Best for Engaging Patients in Their Care

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Jan 26, 2017 11:05:00 AM

Reaching your patients through the technology they already use is key to patient engagement

With new tools like Snapchat and Boomerang popping up every day, sometimes it seems like communication technology seems to change faster than we can keep up with. That has led some hospitals to rush into creating an app or join the latest social media platform. Others continue to lag behind, using paper and telephone as the primary communication methods used to engage patients.

But some hospitals recognize that patients want to communicate the way they do in daily life. Email and text have an important place in patient-provider communication and remain patients' top choices for connecting with their doctors outside the medical office or hospital walls.

In fact, when it comes to improving health outcomes, your best bet for communicating with patients is a combined approach: mobile-responsive email and text.

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Topics: Hospital Workflows, Patient Outcomes, Digital Patient Engagement, Patient Provider Communication, Patient-Centered Care, Patient Portals, Digital Patient Interactions, Texting

5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Interactions With Patients

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Nov 30, 2016 2:05:00 PM

CMS & McKinsey Agree: Digitization Is a Necessity for All Hospitals

As healthcare payers shift their focus to value-based care, smart hospital leaders recognize that digitization is necessary to make that critical transition from volume to value.

Why Digitize?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) clearly sees the connection between digital patient connections and value; digitization is woven into the fabric of every new incentive plan the organization introduces. Why? CMS is insisting on engaging patients throughout their entire episode, not only during the in-hospital stay. Technology enables this expanded engagement.

Hospital leaders who promote consistent digital interactions before, during and after the hospital stay will see the greatest return on patient care, outcomes and cost—the 3 most important measures of value-based care. 

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Topics: Digital Patient Engagement, Value-Based Care, HCAHPS, Digital Patient Interactions

Too Many C-Sections?

Posted by Deirdre Wilson on Nov 7, 2016 11:00:00 AM

What Concerns About This Common Surgery Teach Us About Patient Engagement

The most recent issue of Consumer Reports had some pointed words about hospitals with high rates of Cesarean section deliveries. In an article detailing its evaluation of C-section rates in 1,200 hospitals nationwide, the consumer advocacy journal concludes that, in low-risk pregnancies, the biggest determinant that a woman will have a C-section may be the hospital where she chooses to deliver her baby.

It isn’t the first time an inferred link between C-sections and hospital practice has made headlines. The New York Times ran an opinion piece in January saying the same thing.

About 1 in 3 newborns (nearly 1.3 million babies) are delivered by C-section in U.S. hospitals each year. The surgery has been the most commonly performed operating room procedure here for almost a decade, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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Topics: Patient Education, Pregnancy Education, Digital Patient Engagement

Where do hospitals rate on going digital?

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Sep 21, 2016 3:32:07 PM

Will you succeed or die in digital America?

That is the question the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, Digital America: A Tale of the Haves and Have-Mores”, poses to all sectors of the American economy.

Looking at it through the lens of American healthcare—to tease out a road map for the business of healthcare—the report provides a compelling argument for aggressive hospital digitalization with the following key points:

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Topics: Hospital Workflows, Quality of Care, Digital Patient Engagement, Cost of Care, Patient Satisfaction, Patient Experience, Innovation, Technology

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