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

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

How Can Hospitals Use Texting to Improve Patient Care?

Posted by Jackie Simon on Jan 18, 2017 11:00:00 AM

When was the last time you talked to your friend? Your mother? Your old college roommate? Now think—did you actually talk to them? In person or on the phone?

If you’re like most Americans, you probably conversed with them via text, email or social media. In fact, a recent Gallup poll finds that texting and email are the most frequently used forms of non-personal communication for adult Americans. So is a cellphone, because even when we do use a phone, it’s typically not a landline, the survey reveals.

For all Americans under age 50, the survey finds that texting is the most dominant form of communication.

Given these changes in our own everyday interactions, why does the healthcare industry insist on sticking with old forms of communication?

Healthcare needs to embrace email and text as the preferred and most efficient patient-provider communication methods, just as we have accepted—and really, expected—email and text communication in our daily lives.

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Topics: Population Health Management, Quality of Care, Patient Outcomes, Patient Provider Communication, Patient Satisfaction, Patient Experience, Patient-Centered Care, Innovation, Technology, Texting

Boost Patient Satisfaction, Avoid Penalties—and Win with CJR

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Jul 13, 2016 2:00:00 PM

Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR), the latest bundled payment initiative from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), has now been underway for three months. If your hospital is among the 790 required to participate, you may already know that building and leveraging patient relationships is key to getting the highest CMS reimbursements.

Even if you aren’t a participant at this point, CJR and similar programs from CMS will likely expand. Paying attention now may be worth it in the long run.

Under CJR, hospitals are responsible for the cost and care quality of hip and knee replacements—starting with the surgery and hospital stay, and continuing for 90 days post-discharge for rehabilitation and recovery. CMS will reward hospitals that do well, in terms of cost and care quality, with more money. And it will penalize those that don’t, making them repay a portion of their reimbursements.

Patient satisfaction is one way CMS will evaluate care quality under CJR. And because the agency already requires hospitals to connect with patients digitally, through their Electronic Health Records, an effective way to develop and nurture patient satisfaction is also through digital communication.

Read on to learn how!

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Topics: Patient Outcomes, Value-Based Care, Patient Satisfaction, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement, HCAHPS, MACRA

Does Your Technology Improve Patient Care & Outcomes?

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Jul 6, 2016 2:00:00 PM

The 2015 Medicare Access CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) outlines plans to overhaul reimbursements to physicians, based in part on their ability to provide quality care and to improve patient experience and outcomes.

One of the main goals the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has for MACRA is for individual healthcare providers to use technology as a tool for improving care in a way that’s helpful—rather than burdensome—to both patient and provider.

This goal is also central to the objectives for hospitals currently participating in CMS’ Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) initiative. Key to success with CJR’s bundled payment program is the nurturing of patient relationships—teaching and engaging patients to be better partners in their care, ultimately to improve both their satisfaction and outcomes. And this, too, can be accomplished through digital tools that work.

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Topics: Patient Outcomes, Value-Based Care, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement, MACRA

CJR & MACRA—THE CONNECTION

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Jun 28, 2016 1:58:52 PM

Just two months after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ game-changing bundled payment plan, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR), took effect in 790 hospitals nationwide, the federal agency is headlong into another landmark innovation in healthcare.

In a June 13, 2016, address to the American Medical Association (AMA) Annual Meeting in Chicago, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt detailed how his agency will implement the 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, known as MACRA.

What do CJR and MACRA have in common? While MACRA is a broad payment plan for individual healthcare providers and CJR is a hospital reimbursement initiative currently limited to joint replacement surgery and rehabilitation, the two are connected in important ways. This commonality forecasts the future for CMS and the entire healthcare system loud and clear.

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Topics: Quality of Care, Patient Outcomes, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement, MACRA

Keep Readmissions Down and Patient Satisfaction Up

Posted by The UbiCrew on Jun 2, 2016 3:00:00 PM

Penalties for hospital readmissions, doled out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, are expected to reach about $420 million this year. Faced with ever-increasing fines and penalties as CMS focuses more on care quality than quantity, hospitals must put a plan into place that addresses readmissions to reduce costs and improve patient care and satisfaction.

What can hospitals do to meet this goal? Guiding, educating and supporting patient self-managed care can reduce the rate of hospital admissions. Making your patients partners in their care will increase their knowledge and satisfaction—and prevent an avoidable return visit.

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Topics: Patient Outcomes, Hospital Readmissions, Cost of Care, Patient Satisfaction

Automatic Patient Communication Means a Better Standard of Care

Posted by The UbiCrew on May 13, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Technology is pervasive in how we manage our day-to-day activities. 89% of adults in the U.S. report using the Internet or owning a smartphone. The vast majority of patients report that they want email communication with their physician.

How can you take advantage of this ubiquity in healthcare practice? 

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Topics: Meaningful Use, Patient Education, Quality of Care, Patient Outcomes, Digital Patient Engagement, Patient Provider Communication, Technology

UbiCare and the Startup Institute Focus on Innovation in CJR Patient Education

Posted by The UbiCrew on Apr 15, 2016 11:00:00 AM

The long-awaited Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement initiative (CJR) became reality on April 1, 2016. Under CJR, hospitals must find ways to rein in costs, reduce complications and improve patient outcomes for hip and knee replacements—the most common joint-replacement procedures—in order to receive maximum reimbursements from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Topics: Joint Surgery, Patient Outcomes, Hospital Readmissions, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement, Innovation

What Is MACRA and How Does It Relate to Meaningful Use?

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Mar 9, 2016 8:00:00 AM

In January 2016, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt announced that CMS would update Meaningful Use to focus more on patient care and outcomes.

At the same time, Slavitt brought renewed attention to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015—MACRA—triggering confusion among hospitals and health systems already scrambling to attest to Meaningful Use. 

Many questions arose. What is MACRA? What is the relationship between MACRA and Meaningful Use? Is Meaningful Use over?

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Topics: Meaningful Use, Quality of Care, Patient Outcomes, Patient Portals

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