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Archive for the ‘Collaboration’ Category

Includes Provider Portals (Patient, Provider, Physician), Payor Portals (member, provider, agents/brokers), and User Experience

Market-Driven Patient Portal: Telehealth Beyond the Virtual Visit

Last month I published a post entitled “What the market says you need in your patient portal” that garnered a lot of interest. In that post I addressed the balancing act that healthcare executives face when market based initiatives are sidelined in order to drive focus to regulatory requirements such as Meaningful Use. Sometimes the market and regulatory requirements are in sync. However, when those regulatory initiatives get delayed things get complicated. My advice is that, beyond Meaningful Use, ultimately the market will determine what true patient engagement means, and I highlighted seven features that a market driven portal should have. I will spend time during this series going into detail on those features. They include:google-smart-contact-lens-glucose-sensor-640x353

  • Telehealth that moves beyond the virtual visit
  • Dynamic scheduling
  • Social collaboration
  • Gamification and serious games
  • Avatars for personalized health coaching
  • Health information exchange across diverse care settings
  • Integration of clinical and financial data

Today we will begin with telehealth. The topic has been in the news quite a bit recently – mostly in terms of telehealth reimbursement. The world of telehealth is not only in a state of transition currently, telehealth is also one of the major net deltas that we will see between healthcare of today and the healthcare of ten years from now. So, what does telehealth look like beyond the virtual visit? We are pushing towards a world where technological innovations will make the brick and mortar less and less relevant even in the world of healthcare. One of the more interesting developments in this area is a push by X Prize, by way of multiple multimillion-dollar prizes, to innovate technologies in such a way to diagnose common medical conditions with no intervention from a health care professional. With this drive in the marketplace in mind, telehealth in a market-driven patient portal you would find:

  • Socially Enabled Patient Portals: In a socially enabled patient portal, physicians and patients can work together toward their combined goals of better health using tactics like dynamic messaging, activity feeds, blogging, and open question forums.  These technologies are particularly effective in rural and low-income areas and are being used to enhance the quality of care for diabetic populations in low-income areas, for example.  These technologies show great promise for providers and health plans interested in managing chronic disease in a cost-effective fashion, especially for the uninsured.
  • Robotics:  Children’s hospitals have been the early adopters of telehealth technologies. Some innovations of interest are in the realm of robotics. Boston Children’s Hospital has an impressive telehealth program with a video-monitoring robot. These 4-foot-6, 17-pound, two wheel robots help with post-operative consultations and care primarily as a means of videoconferencing, giving the families of hospital patients a way to keep in touch with doctors and nurses in between post-surgical appointments. Equipped with cameras, audio gear and a video screen for a “face,” the robots are operated remotely by Children’s Hospital staff. In addition to facilitating communication, they can take video and close-up photos of surgical scars or other key areas of interest to help medical staff monitor recovery.
  • The Smart House: When it comes to uncovering issues early, the tracking of vitals, combined with analytics that readily alert clinicians when those vitals show potential for problem, have been crucial to telehealth outside the virtual visit. We are seeing innovations that embedded fiberoptics into carpeting that can track the activity of patients in and out of their bed while at at home. There is also an innovation called the Health-e-Chair that incorporates a vast array of biosensors to measure vital signs including weight, blood pressure, temperature, ECG, auscultation of heart and lung sounds, blood oxygen saturation, motion analysis and reflex response time. The chair incorporates a communication unit with a remotely controlled camera.
  • Nanosensors: Taking the tracking of remote patient monitoring microscopic is no longer just something we will get to eventually. There are innovations on the market now that can make a big difference in population health. Diabetes is a serious issue in the world of healthcare (understatement of the year award nomination). One of the leading causes of blindness in the world, diabetes patients have a risk of developing retinopathy, which could ultimately lead to blindness. Nanotatoos have already proven out in diagnostic efforts to track blood glucose levels, for example. Google and friends are also innovating around embedded camera functionality into contact lenses to find early signs of diabetic retinopathy.

One in five Medicare patients are readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of discharge, and one in three are readmitted within 90 days. It’s estimated that 75% of all hospital readmissions are preventable. Telehealth provides many benefits as a virtual visit. However, it is taking telehealth beyond the virtual visit that the market will push towards as we work to bring down the cost of care and reduce readmissions. Stay tuned for a future post on how the integration of all of this data takes this effort a giant leap forward.

Anything you think I’m missing? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Apple HealthKit: A Game Changer

I have been an athlete all my life, but since I’ve reached my 30′s, had 5 reconstructive surgeries, and moved back to the Midwest to a completely sedentary job, staying fit and healthy has become more challenging than ever before.

As an Apple lover for years, I have a myriad of Apps I enlisted to help. Between TargetWEIGHT, MYFitnesspal, MapMyFitness, myWOD, and Nike Fit Band, I have been unsuccessful in maintaining the health and fitness level of my satisfaction.Apple HealthKit: A Game Changer

When I heard about the Apple HealthKit platform and the ability for it to sync with third party application data, the question I posed to myself was, will this help me? I have no chronic illness. I’m not sick. I just want to be healthy. After doing some primitive research, if Apple can pull this off as they say they can, it will revolutionize not just my health technology experience, but the way any doctor in my future will diagnose and treat me.

The Apple HealthKit in addition to the Myhealth App promises to connect Apple Applications & other devices to one another, and to your physician if you choose to. Alleged, my myriad of applications will update one another automatically so I can work (at my nutrition & fitness) smarter and more accurately. Or, if I choose to use the Myhealth, this data will aggregate within the application in a single profile to use and share. Myhealth has 47 different tracking options to help me reach my goals, along with tracking my health milestones and medications/allergies. Furthermore, in case of an emergency, this historical account of my vitals, fitness level, and health milestones such as a chronic illness diagnosis are logged and can be shared with the ER Doctor. This may be critical in saving my life.

I am very conscious however that many folks are extremely uncomfortable with having this type of data in the cloud. I believe this will be a large barrier for Apple along with other 3rd party development partners to overcome. However the technology to keep this information secure exists, and I believe it can be done right. The challenge for Apple is to relay to the public the capabilities of internet security. Now educating Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Y’ers on Cloud Security and gaining the trust to make this Application helpful to all generations may be a challenge and will come with time.

Luckily, as a thirty-something that needs to keep track of my own family’s health along with my aging parent’s health, having health information at my fingertips may not just be convenient but literally may be a life saver. The Mayo Clinic thinks so, they have partnered with Apple along with Epic to make this endeavor successful. You can read more at:

http://www.imedicalapps.com/2014/06/apple-partnership-epic-game-changer/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+iMedicalApps+%28iMedicalApps%29

Connect with Consumers as People, Not Numbers

It is a tumultuous time for the healthcare industry, and health plans are not immune to the disruption. The Affordable Care Act has raised a new level of consumer awareness about the purchase of healthcare and the competitive health plan environment. Battles for market share drive the need to understand member demographics and behaviors in order to more effectively communicate with them. Health plans are trying to differentiate their services and offerings to gain a competitive advantage. Additionally, a newer, younger Connect with Consumers as People Not Numberscustomer segment has higher expectations of speed, information and mobile accessibility.

Despite this new focus on consumer engagement, health plan infrastructure and systems are typically inadequate to meet user demands. New levels of integration are required between front-end portals and back-end systems, so health plans’ growing social and collaborative relationships with customers can be maintained. To keep costs low but yield improved customer service and satisfaction, scalable cloud-based applications are becoming increasingly viable solutions.

Having a customer relationship management (CRM) solution at the center of the overall business strategy allows health plans to adapt to new regulatory requirements while meeting the needs of the connected consumer. Tools that enable personalized user experiences in a secure, yet flexible, environment, make connected health a reality.

A comprehensive CRM solution includes marketing, customer acquisition, retention and overall care management. CRM systems help healthcare organizations have a more personalized approach when reaching consumers (they are people, not numbers) and enable patients, providers and health plans to share information easily – creating an integrated experience and improved patient outcomes.

The consumer-centric approach is all about empowering consumers to be more involved in their health journey. In order to connect with consumers, healthcare organizations must engage with them in new ways using a more personalized method. Customer relationship management (CRM) technologies allow healthcare organizations to do just that; they are a natural fit for the healthcare industry that has adopted the “retail” model.

The food, retail and healthcare industries are going to continue to merge as we head toward a more holistic health model, and CRM will be an integral part in the success of this evolution.

Is your organization using a CRM solution? How have you seen CRM solutions evolve in the healthcare industry? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @Perficient_HC

Creepy or Cool? A View of Connected Health in 2025

One of the fun aspects of my job is research.  I get to research the Connected Health trends to understand where the market is headed and how to then prepare healthcare organizations for those changes to capitalize off of the advantage of public health meets good timing meets technology.  I typically chart the trends out through the next ten years.  Some recent information that caught my attention include this infographic by Bupa and a study by Thomson Reuters IP & Science.  Want to know what the world of Connected Health will look like in ten years?  There will be four major themes:

the-futureMicro Mobile: The biggest net delta to be seen in the world of Connected Health between now and 2025 will be in the form of mobile technology.  Mobile capabilities will continue to be provided in smaller form providing the Healthcare industry with opportunities to, for example, use contact lenses that can take pictures of the retina to identify early symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. Sensing capabilities from fiberoptics are currently being used within telehealth in the form of smart carpets that relay signals from footstep patterns.  These capabilities are forecasted to innovate into a form that could signal the possible onset of diseases such as skin cancer when applied to human skin.  Mobile capabilities imbedded in shoes, socks, and baby diapers will impact our ability to monitor weight, fitness goals, hydration, temperature, sleeping patterns, and other symptoms of illness.  Nano tattoos are already used to measure blood glucose levels.  These tattoos, that are half the width of a human hair, are expected to be able to detect precise temperature changes to indicate cardiovascular activity in the future.

Personalized Prevention: Now lets take microscopic mobile and pair it with the more prevalent DNA mapping that will occur in 2025.  Babies born in that year will be tested at the DNA level with full genomic mapping.  We are not talking once or twice.  We are talking continuously tested using nano-probes inserted in the body to identify potential onset of disease.  When it comes to the most costly chronic conditions (both in terms of dollars and hardship), a simple and inexpensive genomics test can be used to help a patient, and their team of clinicians, understand the risk of certain disease states. These individuals can then be given the right treatments and education from the start and throughout life.  Imagine the impact of this level of personalized prevention can have not only for the individual involved but for population health in terms of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and the like.

The Internet of Everywhere: The “internet of things” is defined as an environment where everyday physical objects are connected to the internet and are able to identify themselves to other devices.  We do that at some level today.  By 2025, the internet of things will be everywhere, and everything will be connected.  A report from Thomson Reuters IP & Science states “Thanks to the prevalence of improved semiconductors, graphene-carbon nanotube capacitators, cell-free networks of service antenna, and 5G technology, wireless communications will dominate everything, everywhere.”  What does that mean for Connected Health?  That means your nutrition can talk to you medication because your fridge can talk to your prescription bottles.  Really.

Continuous Data Collection & Instant Reporting: These Connected Health innovations not only provide the ability for healthcare organizations to continually monitor health conditions but also with the ability to collect and report on this data.  This can drive positive behavior change through incentivizing verifiable behaviors.  At the organizational level, this can be used to augment current loyalty programs that rely upon CRM data.  Just imagine the power this also provides to public health research programs worldwide.

Creepy or cool?  What do you think about what is to come in the world of Connected Health?

Social Media Experiments & Public Health. To be or not to be?

So, I’m guessing you heard about the “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks“, no?  That’s the official title for the Facebook study published in The Proceedings of National Academy of the United States of America that you’ve likely already heard about.  In this study you have a Facebook data scientist Adam Kramer and two academics, Jamie Guillory of UC San Francisco and Jeffrey  Hancock of Cornell University, that “subtly tweaked the news feeds” of approximately 700,000 Facebook users. The researchers used an algorithm for one week’s time to eliminate “negative” messages from some users’ news feeds. For others the algorithm eliminated “positive” messages.  For a control group they simply deleted a random selection of messages. Here is the stated significance from the research results:

We show, via a massive (N = 689,003) experiment on Facebook, that emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. We provide experimental evidence that emotional contagion occurs without direct interaction between people (exposure to a friend expressing an emotion is sufficient), and in the complete absence of nonverbal cues.

FacebookPrivacyExperimentThere has been quite a media frenzy around the study.  Most of it has been negative.  The most compelling of those arguments is around “informed consent”.  The belief there is that even if we can agree that the results are of scientific importance (some don’t) and the methodology of the study is concrete (some don’t), it still violated the rights of research subjects.  After the ethical calamities that are the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment and Project Chatter, informed consent essentially means that a research subject in a study needs to have basic information about the study, understand the nature of the experiment along with its risks and benefits, and have the ability to withhold consent without fear of harm or retribution.

However, there are also supporters of the study.   Ethicist and lawyer Michelle N. Meyer states that as a private company Facebook is not subject to an academic institutional review board.  She goes further to say that had it been, then this study would have likely passed muster. Supporters further state that, with social media being a relatively new phenomena, Facebook has a moral obligation to inform its users of the social or psychological impact of their website.  It’s likely that studies like this will continue.  With the media firestorm that erupted it is likely, though, that they will not be published.  That comes with its own set of problems.

My concerns move into the realm of public health.  As I mentioned in a 2011 post called “New Tools for Managing a Public Health Crisis“, data is the most important component in managing public health.  With a successful suicide committed in this world every 30 seconds, mental health is a major public health concern.  It takes precious time and resources to manage the health of a planet inhabited by 7 billion people.  This is an interconnected planet, and a public health crisis knows no barriers and time does matter.  One of the breakthrough lessons I received in my life was from Dr. Greg Smith, my graduate data mining professor at Xavier University.  He explained that “like things tend to cluster”.  This makes social media a great way to find the useful data needed to uncover a public health crisis. Social media technology enables two-way communication.  As such, experts are turning to social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to not only communicate with the public about disease outbreaks and health issues but to also gather necessary data to discover outbreaks at their source.  Social media can also be used to recruit medical volunteers to a location and align response efforts once on the ground.  However, to make this all work, public health officials need to be given access to social media data, and this is often an issue.

So, ultimately, my feelings on the study are quite mixed.  I am a staunch supporter of ethics.  However, I am of the belief that this study passed the ethical bar.  Even more, I have strong feelings on the topic of mental health.  I do believe that social media, with all of its countless benefits, has a new and not yet verified impact on mental health.   I believe that it is data that will help us understand ourselves in ways that we did not before, and that data can save lives.

What the market says you need in your patient portal

I had an interesting chat with some healthcare execs a few weeks back.  We were discussing the real impact of increasingly shifting regulatory compliance deadlines.  Think about it: when the government puts forth direction, and incentive, to effectuate a certain change that often leads to healthcare executives realigning their own strategies in favor of this mandate.  This means, in the case of Meaningful Use, putting off previously considered initiatives in favor of the new ticking patient portal time bomb.  When the timeline then gets shifted, sometimes again and again, it can seem like a cruel joke.

As we are all well aware, the Meaningful Use timeline is now delayed.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has added a third year to Stage 2 of the EHR meaningful use program and has delayed the start of Stage 3 until 2017. Under the revised timeline, Stage 2 will be extended through 2016 and Stage 3 will begin in 2017 for those providers that have completed at least two years in Stage 2.  It is now expected that in fall of 2014 CMS will release a notice of proposed rulemaking for Stage 3 along with the 2017 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria, which will outline more details of the new timeline. The final rule, with all requirements for Stage 3, would follow in the first half of 2015.

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With these facts as the undercurrent to our discussion, our conversation ventured into a discovery session on what true patient engagement means and whether strategies should adhere to government regulations or, instead, market demand.  Want to guess what side of that debate I argued from?  Yes, there are providers that will continue to drag their feet.  I’m not saying that Meaningful Use is not warranted because yes, indeed, it is.  However, the market will ultimately be the truest driver for competition among healthcare providers seeking to engage with patients.  As a result, the forward thinking strategists in healthcare organizations nationwide should have their sites on the marketplace horizon.

What does the market think of patient engagement?

For the answer to this question I refer to a report by Frost & Sullivan that was released before the delay was announced entitled “U.S. Patient Portal Market for Hospitals and Physicians: Overview and Outlook, 2012–2017″.  This report predicted growth in the patient portal market over the next five years.

“The need to fully engage patients as a member of the care team is fundamentally about encouraging individuals to become more involved with their healthcare, so they will be motivated to make behavioral changes that can positively impact their health status. That need will only grow as the healthcare system moves towards accountable care and value-based reimbursement. The importance of this movement cannot be underestimated.”

The report then categorized those EHR module patient portals (aka “The Meaningful Use Portal”)  as “Patient Portal 1.0.” and qualified these solutions as not being capable of providing the “advanced interoperability and functionality needed to support clinical integration, accountable care and ongoing and sustainable patient engagement.”  No arguments there.

However, they also predicted a significant disruption in the years to come.  The report states that as healthcare reform and transformation advances, providers will seek new ways to engage patients and influence behavior using connected health and will increasingly look for more advanced solutions that are proven to consistently motivate sustained behavioral change. These solutions are referred to as “Patient Portal 2.0.”  The report estimates that this new era of patient engagement will make its way to reality between 2015 – 2017.

Setting Patient Portal Strategy to Market Demand

The Patient Portal 2.0 that the market requires relies on a host of functions that think outside the confines of Meaningful Use.  If you want to develop a portal that truly reaches out into a population and makes a difference, then you must, better than anyone else, understand the purpose of the portal.  You must know to whom your portal is targeted.  I’ve never met two patient populations that are the same, which makes implementing an out of the box portal for every population a bit discomforting.  You must devote a lot of time to figuring out what motivates your intended audience.  That understanding must be crystal clear before you even consider how the portal should be designed.  Document, in detail, what your experience needs to communicate with the patient.  What kinds of tools best match this experience?

Want some ideas on what others are doing to meet market demand?  Here are some features that the market is currently pushing towards:

  • Telehealth that moves beyond the virtual visit
  • Dynamic scheduling
  • Social collaboration
  • Gamification and serious games
  • Avatars for personalized health coaching
  • Health information exchange across diverse care settings
  • Integration of clinical and financial data,

Any others you are seeing out there in the marketplace?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.

A View From the Emergency Department Trenches

The Case for Patient Centered Medical Home, Care Coordination and Population Health Wellness

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is changing the way patients, physicians and clinicians interact with our healthcare system. At first glance, creating affordable The Case for Patient Centered Medical Home, Care Coordination and Population Health Wellness-A View from the ED Trencheshealthcare for all is an amazing yet daunting initiative. In actuality, however, patients are now finding it difficult to get appointments with their overburdened clinicians, landing them square in the middle of an expensive emergency department (ED) visit. Many of these individuals have primary care clinicians but lack coordinated care management. They have real diseases, diabetes, HIV, congestive heart failure, just to name a few, but make frequent visits to the ER because… Because why? There is no one driving care coordination.

Here’s a real story. Although I only practice emergency medicine part time, I noticed that almost every shift I worked, either I or one of my colleagues would see the same patient repetitively. We are fortunate to have care managers in the ED but they are usually not available in the late evening so this patient was being seen, sometimes had a workup, sometimes not but was usually discharged and told to follow up with his primary care physician. He lives alone, has no social support system and has a real disease. Here is a man who should be part of a patient centered medical home, receiving coordinated care to prevent recurring ER visits. He, and many others like him, have fallen through the cracks. This patient was finally admitted, eventually accepting an assisted living arrangement, thus eliminating unnecessary visits to the ER and providing him a much better health and wellness solution. But could this have been done sooner? Read the rest of this post »

Google Health Fail Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Win

This morning one of my portal colleagues published a post that I wanted to share with our healthcare community.  As you can see from the Twitter log below, we are quite passionate about portals and, more importantly, all of the business problems portals can solve within the healthcare industry.

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The article in question was written by Forbes, and it explores, as Mark states in his post, “Google is big, smart and has a lot of resources. If they can’t get a health portal right who can?”

So, how do you succeed in a market where Google has failed?  Here are some principles to consider:

  1. Think like a patient, not like search vendor, database vendor, cloud vendor, etc.  Patients who want to access a healthcare portal have specific needs for information and action, not just data.  As a patient, its nice to see my red blood cell count. But I also want to know what it means when I’m outside the normal range.  Can I quickly ask my physician or a nurse advice on what to do?
  2. A patient portal doesn’t have to add a huge workload to doctors who are already under pressure to see lots of patients.  As more doctors get paid on outcomes vs procedures, doctors should welcome greater patient engagement whether its in the office or online.
  3. Electronic medical records vendors don’t have a lock on patient portals.  In the real world, patient data is spread out among several EMR systems.  Current EMR vendors are great at pulling in data, but most won’t share data to other systems. A patient portal must be able to integrate with many vendors’ EMRs and other systems like billing, content, analytics, etc.

Have any more ideas?  Feel free to comment here or respond to our ongoing conversation on Twitter.

 

 

Smoking Cessation Apps are good. Text programs are even better.

We are big fans of mobile health.  Why?  Because there is 91% US adult adoption of mobile phones.  That same percent keeps their phone with them 24/7.  As a result, these billions of tiny devices the world over create a networked lifeline that can be a critical tool for healthcare.

craving_smokingThat’s why we originally wrote the post, “Texting Bridges the Mobile Health Digital Divide.”  In that piece we highlighted three great text messaging programs that are making a big difference.  Why are text messaging programs so important?  Because, while 91% of the population has a cell phone, only 56% of the population has access to a smartphone (and the health apps that come with it).  Text messaging programs are an inexpensive means to potentially reach almost the entire population if done correctly.

With that in mind, hearing of another mobile health text messaging program with great results, though not at all a surprise, makes me quite happy.  It’s called Text2Quit.  The program works by sending text messages with advice as well as telling users how much money they have saved by quitting (a big correlation to quitting, it seems).  Users can also text keywords, like CRAVE, to receive a tip to keep to their smoking cessation program or SMOKED to communicate a relapse.  The program then gives tips for getting back on track.

Want more information?  You can read about the program here and here and here.

Patient-Centered Care: 4 Things That Need To Happen

Health care has been evolving away from disease-centered care and toward patient-centered care. In a disease-centered model, physicians make treatment decisions based on clinical experience and data from medical tests. In a patient-centered model, patients are active participants in their own care and receive services that are focused on their individual needs and preferences, in addition to advice from healthcare professionals.

Patient-Centered Care: 4 Things That Need to HappenIn theory the patient-centered care approach makes a lot of sense but in order for it to become the standard and for patients to be the center of their healthcare experiences these four things need to happen:

The “Whole” Patient Must be Treated. Treating the whole patient means that healthcare professionals must think about the patient within their social context. Factors such as socioeconomic status, family situation and other factors that can determine how the patient accesses and receives healthcare.

Create an Open Environment. Providing the right treatment for a patient is virtually impossible if they do not feel comfortable opening up to their healthcare provider. Patients often feel scared, nervous or embarrassed. Healthcare providers who have great empathy skills can make it much easier to communicate with people who are experiencing these emotions.

No More Fee-for-Service. A key component of patient-centered care revolves around the healthcare provider having enough time to address the whole patient. Fee-for-service care doesn’t encourage doctors to spend time with patients, in fact it does just the opposite, it makes them feel rushed to unnecessarily refer a patient to a specialist or results in the patient leaving with unanswered questions.

Engagement From the Whole Team. The physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and all other healthcare professionals involved need to take an integrated team approach and have open lines of communication to ensure everyone has the same goals and treatment plans. For example, the Pharmacist needs to communicate to the Physician if a patient hasn’t refilled their prescription.

Although there is a better awareness of patient-centered care, it will take time for it to become the standard. Every patient deserves to have a personal team of trusted healthcare providers who are working hard together to provide them the best possible care.

What can health education learn from Netflix?

Last week I happened upon a journal article for the Annals of Internal Medicine entitled, “What Can Medical Education Learn from Facebook and Netflix?”  The study was written under the pretense that the tools that are used to entertain medical students are far more sophisticated than the tools that are used to teach medical students.  Facebook and Netflix use algorithms to service up user-focused content.  If that works for entertainment, then why isn’t it being used to teach some of life’s most important lessons?

Taking the Guess Work out of the Wellness Model

100903778-167539930r.530x298As pointed out in the article, medical education would be a great use case for algorithmic and social learning.   Beyond the obvious, the awesome side effect is that, perhaps, doctors that use these tools successfully when they are educated would then find ways to incorporate them into health education for patients.  In my (completely biased) opinion, health education contains life’s most important lessons.  Education is provided throughout the increasingly complex and interconnected episodes of care that run through integrated networks.  These networks include hospitals, health systems, ambulatory care centers, community clinics, long-term care facilities, home care agencies, and medical groups, that work together to coordinate care and share accountability for quality, cost, and outcomes.  In order to make this work, care providers can’t simply be manufacturers of “sick care”, which has been the norm for far too long.

The old guard of care is an environment where all care takes place within the brick and mortar of an eight-minute doctor’s visit. Reimbursement took place under a fee-for-service model. There is a seismic, and stress inducing, cultural shift taking place that transforms our “sick care” model into a “wellness” model that impacts care outside of the clinical setting in a transformational way. The market has reached a place where the industry has both the incentives and information needed to move towards this new model of care. The business practice challenge will understandably take much more time to heal.

Algorithmic Health Education

In today’s day and age we have many methods to personalize preventive medicine.  You can call it creepy or cool when you see Facebook algorithms that can be used to tailor personalized prevention messages to patients.  Healthcare organizations can also use self identification programs to offer up personalized content on dynamic portions of the public website or the patient portal.  On a grander scale, data from relatively inexpensive genomics testing can become powerful data that the algorithm can use to personalize preventative medicine throughout a lifetime.

Bringing patient and clinician into a partnership towards better health will be the foundation upon which this trend will flourish. Technology that bridges the divide between the brick-and-mortar and into the everyday lives of patients at home, at work, at school, and in their communities is the ultimate catalyst for wellness care.  Using the power of Netflix, many doctors and patients have undoubtedly succumb to a good binge watching session of House of Cards.  If we play our cards right, then perhaps we can get patients to watch their health with the same level of enthusiasm.

How Enterprise Mobility Management Can Improve Patient Care

Healthcare is an ever-changing industry, and healthcare organizations continue to face the challenge of improving the quality of care while remaining compliant with industry standards. Depending on the diagnosis, the patient journey can include transfers between acute, post-acute, ambulatory care and home-health care organizations. As a result of these often-frequent transitions in care settings, the patient’s quality of care and overall safety can be compromised.

How Enterprise Mobility Management Can Improve Patient CareEnterprise Mobility Management (EMM) allows healthcare organizations to securely and more efficiently exchange clinical data while remaining compliant with industry regulations such as HIPAA requirements. The use of mobile technologies and applications can help make this transition across the continuum of care smoother resulting in fewer hospital re-admissions and better patient outcomes.

By 2020, a projected 70 percent increase in home health aides signifies the importance of secure device management solutions outside of traditional care facilities. EMM provides organizations with the technology needed to positively impact patient care throughout the entire patient journey regardless of the treatment location.

 What will it take to get us there?

  1. IT administrators need to begin to focus on how they can extend existing standard health data processes to mobile devices.
  2. These mobile devices need to enable care providers to access and enter data into Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), manage prescriptions and patient financial data, among other data sources. This should all be able to happen in real time, from anywhere and is especially important for home health providers, so they can enter data from the patient’s home, on their mobile devices.
  3. Home health organizations need secure tablets and smartphones to ensure secure and protected medical record access. The need for mobility management and security are now more important than ever as the delivery of care continues to expand beyond the traditional clinical setting.

EMM will provide the security and medical record access needed to ensure quality of care and patient safety across the entire continuum of care.