HIMSS 2017: Driving patient engagement through mobile care management

Patient engagement proves difficult the minute one walks out of the physician’s office. As a way to keep physicians close—in the pocket of patients to be exact—mobile care management systems can keep physicians informed while also keeping patients on track to healthy living. Susan Beaton, RN, BSN, CPN, CPC, and Jacop Sattelmair, DSc, MSc, will review how mobile technology is bringing patients into the fold of their own care at HIMSS 2017.

Current telephone-based methods often leave patients feeling left out of their own care. Many programs only contact patients at the beginning of care, a month into a programs and at its conclusion, leaving patients to handle their own care. Without contact, patients are setup for failure in trying to achieve high quality care.

Researchers started by outlining the main barriers to patient engagement including the current outdated methods, impersonal care plans, the high cost of large population programs and the burden to clinical workflow. Researchers developed a mobile care management plan to provide patients personalized programs with a smartphone or tablet, where they can engage in their own care by reading educational materials and track their health status. Physicians join patients on the other side by monitoring patients on a mobile platform without impeding workflow and at a low cost.

Using STEPS (Satisfaction, Treatment/Clinical, Electronic Secure Data, Patient Engagement/Population Management and Savings) categories, researchers were able to measure the effectiveness of mobile technology on patient engagement when compared to current telephonic methods.

Results included:

  • Overall, the average weekly engagement was 63 percent, rising for post-discharge patients.
  • Touchpoints between patient and physician increased 400 percent.
  • 53 percent of patients reviewed medication adherence information daily.
  • 67 percent of patients reviewed educational materials daily.
  • 62 percent of patients completed surveys daily.
  • Time communicating with patients decreased from 8.5 to 3 minutes for physicians.
  • The implementation of mobile technology saved 35 to 49 percent of previous costs.

Researchers hope the implementation of mobile technologies for patient engagement could scale across care management programs, engage a broader audience in the benefits of health coaching and navigation services, diversify recruitment channels and integrate customer service with care management.