Using Direct Patient Activation to Motivate Patients

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Sep 13, 2018 8:05:00 AM

Imagine you are one of the 1.1 million people about to have a joint replacement this year. Your doctor gave you information during your pre-op visit but you were so busy worrying about your recovery and how you would manage your daily responsibilities, that you missed a lot of the details. Your husband took some notes but he was also overwhelmed at the thought of you being off your feet for 6 weeks. You’ve been doing the best you can with what you remember of your care instructions and you’re hoping for a successful outcome.

Now imagine, instead, that you started to receive care instructions and check-ins from your surgeon after that first pre-op visit. The information helped you remember what your doctor said, reminded you what you need to know at every point in this process (which can be more than six months from pre-op through recovery) and eased your anxiety.

That level of engagement is known as patient activation – the act of energizing a person to manage his or her own health and healthcare with knowledge, skills and confidence. Patient activation is associated with better post-surgical outcomes, including a 40% decrease in 30-day readmissions and 21% lower care costs in the year after surgery.

Hospitals are making that impact even stronger by employing what is referred to as direct patient activation – motivating patients with regular, targeted mobile connections delivered through push messaging.

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Topics: Improving Patient Outcomes, Patient Engagement, Patient Experience, Innovation, Healthcare Technology, Episode of Care, patient activation

Whether Mandatory or Voluntary, Bundled Payments Depend on Patient Activation

Posted by Deirdre Wilson on Jun 19, 2018 1:32:01 PM

Mandatory bundled payment programs for joint replacement offer “more robust, generalizable evidence” than voluntary programs. That’s the main finding of a new study of data from Medicare and the American Hospital Association Annual Survey.

And yet, with the never ending, constantly shifting priorities that hospital staff need to balance, the implication that mandatory bundled payments might be better is a tricky one. This study does not claim definitively that they are. Rather, the authors state, there’s a place for both types of programs in the push to get more hospitals using bundled payment plans. 

The study highlights that the shift to value-based care, particularly in orthopedics, is going strong. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to move this transition forward with bundled payments. Whether mandatory or voluntary, it’s wise to proactively get ahead of CMS’s efforts by implementing a patient activation solution that puts you in control.

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Topics: Value-Based Care, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement, Healthcare Technology, Episode of Care, patient activation

The Emerging Role of Digital Health Tools in Postpartum Care

Posted by Jackie Simon on May 11, 2018 8:35:00 AM

 

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has proposed a shift in the delivery of postpartum care to try to curb increasing maternal mortality rates. In a committee opinion issued this month, ACOG specifically names using technology such as email and text among effective strategies for increasing patient engagement and attendance at postpartum visits.

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Topics: Improving Patient Outcomes, Patient Engagement, Healthcare Technology, Episode of Care

Maintain a HIPAA-Compliant Digital Strategy for Patient Communication

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Mar 27, 2018 2:10:00 PM

In our personal lives, Americans have grown used to giving up personal information to technology in exchange for convenience. We manage passwords using smartphone keychain and apps. We share our emails, phone numbers and birthdays to get store coupons. We save our credit cards in online shopping carts.

As healthcare professionals, however, we are cautious—fearful, even—of dealing in personal information because of the 5-letter abbreviation that looms over our work: HIPAA.

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, became law in 2002 and was designed to protect the private information of patients and to make sure they are well informed about their choices and their consent for those choices.

Yet even as far back as 2003, HIPAA recognized the need to balance patient privacy and efficiency for healthcare providers. In fact, HIPAA makes digital patient engagement, education and care management easier than you may think.

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Topics: Patient Engagement, Innovation, Healthcare Technology, Episode of Care, healthcare marketing