Author: Jonah Comstock / Source: MobiHealthNews
We covered a wide range of hospital innovation stories in Q1 2017, as hospitals continued to explore digital health interventions in patient engagement, remote patient monitoring, and even artificial intelligence and virtual reality. It was also a big quarter for the UK’s National Health Service and also boasted some digital health news for US government actors. Read on for a roundup of notable Q1 provider stories.
At MobiHealthNews’s Personal and Digital Connected Health event at HIMSS this quarter, a few different hospital executives spoke about their recent efforts in patient engagement. Cleveland Clinic Chief Experience Officer Dr. Adrienne Boissy discussed the hospital’s efforts around physician reviews, patient satisfaction scores, and interactive technology like smart TVs. And Chanin Wendling, Geisinger Health System’s AVP of Informatics talked about how Geisinger used customer relationship management software to personalize the care that patients at the hospital receive.
Also during the quarter, Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia reported that a patient education initiative led to reduced readmission rates for several chronic conditions. What led to the reductions was health information for patients and workflow integration for hospital staff via SmarTigr, TeleHealth Services’s interactive patient education and engagement platform that offers videos designed to educate patients about their care and medication.
Other initiatives focused on different ways to make patients feel welcome during their stay. Saint Luke’s Health System, a 10-hospital system serving patients in and around Kansas City, Missouri, teamed up with VenueNext to build a new, comprehensive mobile app for patients and visitors. As well as integrating Saint Luke’s existing patient portal, telehealth, and appointment scheduling systems, the new app will add informational and educational content from the health system’s website. But where VenueNext’s nonhealthcare experience shines (the company has mostly worked in the sports and entertainment sectors) is in additive services like wayfinding, proximity notifications, and food and beverage ordering.
UCHealth in Denver tested CareLoop’s real-time social feed of information and messages and found that 96 percent of patients responded well to the experience. The feed, which is akin to Facebook for emergency departments, delivers messages from caregivers, questions from patients, test results, explanation of care delivered, what to expect next and more. This way, patients have a live feed giving them everything they need to know about their care and family members can read up and see what’s happening with their loved ones. Further, physicians, nurses and other caregivers can have more touch-points with patients without having to perform another face-to-face visit.
And interactive patient engagement and education company GetWellNetwork added a new client to its roster: Children’s Mercy, in Kansas City, Missouri is now one of about 40 pediatric hospitals in the country to deploy GetWellNetwork’s platform, which is rooted in putting patients at the center of care by equipping them with digital tools and information to be an active participant in their treatment and condition management. By providing tools for both patients and staff, the GetWellNetwork platform is designed to help hospitals guide patients and their families through self-management of their conditions, pre- and post-admission care, and overall health education while also improving hospitals’ outcome goals.
Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health, a large health system affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University, launched a new telemedicine platform to reach out to patients. The platform is live for Jefferson’s network of outpatient and inpatient care, which is comprised of six colleges, nine hospitals, and 34 outpatient and urgent care locations — serving over 2.6 million patients annually. The Teladoc-powered platform will be white-labeled under the name JeffConnect, and will cover inpatient, outpatient and care transition periods. Patients can access the platform through their smartphone, tablet or computer.
Finally, a few patient engagement initiatives were focused on post-discharge care. The Indiana University Center for Aging Research used a $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to advance the development and evaluation of a mobile Critical Care Recovery Program. The goal is to provide post-ICU patients the rehabilitation they need after being discharged from intensive care units. And Yale New Haven Hospital tapped Reflexion Health for its virtual physical therapy platform as part of a new program aimed at helping patients recover from joint replacement surgery. The platform will be introduced to patients before surgery and concurrently installed in their homes, and they will begin using it while still in the hospital before moving onto their homes.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Several hospitals shared news this quarter about remote patient monitoring initiatives. At the Digital and Personal Connected Health event at HIMSS, Carolinas HealthCare System Vice President of Information and Analytics Services Pamela Landis revisited the ongoing MyCarolinas tracker program and shared data and results from some small pilots at the hospital. In addition to MyCarolinas Tracker, Landis shared data from a new remote monitoring app the health system recently launched called MigraineRx. The objective of the app is to use the phone’s passive sensors to collect as much data as possible about when patients’ headaches occur.
At the same event, Julie Hall-Barrow, the vice president of virtual health and innovation at Children’s Health in Dallas, Texas, detailed her hospital’s experience using the Proteus Discover system (which tracks medication adherence via an ingestible sensor) in a population of adolescent transplant patients, a use case where she said the novel technology has great promise.
Northwell Health in New York shared a couple of different pieces of news in this space this quarter. In February, through a partnership with health technology company Health Recovery Solutions, Northwell gave its clients the opportunity to use Bluetooth-enabled tablets to transfer vital signs and facilitate videoconferencing with their clinicians. Northwell also shared details of an inhouse program that helps the hospital track when patients leave the hospital and when they’re readmitted.
A lot of hospitals are using digital technology to doctors, patients, and caregivers to one another within the hospital.
In the lead up to HIMSS Media’s Pop Health Forum, Jennifer Laffey, supervisor and nurse practitioner, at Northwell Health Solutions, spoke to us about a care coordination tool Northwell uses to track patients in their transitional program. Laffey described it as a “LoJack” for patients, informing the hospital when patients are discharged and when they’re admitted to another facility. The tool also allows caregivers to indicate information for other team members; and it pulls parts of the medical record, such as history and physicals, vital signs, and radiology studies, to offer caregivers a snapshot of the patient without needing the full chart from the hospital.
Catholic Health Services of Long Island, a 1,928-bed, six-hospital health system, tapped Uniphy Health for a physician communication and collaboration app that will be rolled out across the whole system. As the name implies, Uniphy has created an app intended to bring together many different workflow needs for physicians. It supports secure messaging, secure image sharing, and group announcements as well as a physician directory. The app also facilitates referrals, helping to keep them in network, and interfaces with two databases: the hospital’s EHR and the New York State Health Information Exchange (HIE). This allows physicians who are on some kind of value-based compensation such as bundled payments or shared risk arrangements to be notified when their patients show up at the emergency room.
Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago selected healthcare communication company MD Interconnect to provide its cloud-based, mobile messaging platform called RapidConnect to the hospital. Developed by doctors,…
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