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Mobile health technology knowledge hub

If you’re a health care provider preparing to succeed on your own, we can show you how to do just that.

Engage patients

Patient engagement solutions are a key piece of mobile health technology. Patient engagement is a goal of major health care reform initiatives including Meaningful Use, Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Meaningful Use Stage 2 requires providers to enable patients to view online, download and transmit their health information. Providers must also use secure electronic messaging to communicate with patients.

What’s more, patients increasingly expect to engage with their providers through their mobile devices. Pew Internet reported that 90 percent of U.S. adults own a cell phone and 58 percent of U.S. adults own a smartphone. Thirty-one percent of cell phone owners and 52 percent of smartphone owners have used their phone to look up health or medical information.1 Among the findings from a Strategy& survey of 2,339 U.S. residents, more than a quarter of respondents said they'd rather interact with their health care provider digitally rather than in person or over the telephone.3

Having the right patient engagement technology is necessary for successful patient engagement. Patient portals that are mobile-enabled can enhance patient-provider communication and allow patients to check test results, refill prescriptions, review their medical record, view education materials and even check in for appointments from their mobile devices. This can streamline administrative tasks such as registration, scheduling appointments, and patient reminders, and empower patients to easily and securely connect with their providers.

Patient engagement solutions can also support better population health management, which is another goal of health reform. For example, using patient engagement technology such as secure texting can have positive effects on patients’ health. For example, studies indicate text messaging can be a helpful factor in managing of chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes.2

This is an emerging area that holds much promise. For now, patient engagement solutions offer frequent monitoring of patient health and compliance, with real-time reporting to clinicians and rapid feedback to the patient. Ultimately, this could result in fewer office visits, procedures, and hospitalizations, although appropriate reimbursement for these kinds of interactions is still being discussed.

For now, one place to start connecting with patients is by ensuring that your organization offers a full range of patient engagement solutions. A fully integrated patient communication system can offer practices automated appointment and bill reminder services, and can provide secure messaging in the patient’s preferred format. Practices can free up valuable staff time by using automated calls, e-mails and text messages to specific patient groups. Automated, secure messaging can be used as a medical appointment reminder, to deliver test results, remind patients of a medication schedule, alert them in the event of a weather closure, or promote an upcoming immunization clinic or other population health event.

1 Pew Research Internet Project. January 2014. Health Fact Sheet. Available here.
2 Susan Buie. (January 29,2014) The mHealth Movement: Mobile Apps and the Rise of Portable Care.
 The Atlantic. Available here.
3 Strategy&. (October, 2014) The birth of the healthcare consumer: Growing demands for choice, engagement, and Experience.

 

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