Let’s get to the point… the digital revolution in the U.S. began decades ago with health care being delivered almost exclusively within the physician’s office, hospital, or clinic requiring patients to “commute for care”. Yes, the end of Doctor “house calls” was well before the end of “disco”. Thankfully, healthcare delivery started turning the tables with the use of telephonic consultations, web-based applications and remote care, although unlike other sectors of the U.S. economy, the health care industry still today has yet to realize the full potential of digital and remote health delivery.
So how do we leverage digital technology to improve outcomes, reduce costs and extend care beyond the physical setting? By engaging patients remotely with the right information, at the right time, along with education, support, resources and tracking providing a tool box they can choose from. Patients are consumers now, and consumers that are treated poorly by a business are more likely to complain, especially in today’s era of “give us your feedback”. Successful engagement will result in more positive patient feedback, better self-management, higher levels of satisfaction and you guessed it, healthier and happier participants. For ACOs, population health organizations, and employers, there’s additional benefits when implementing remote health care engagement that help the bottom line, which include:
Well-engaged patients result in better adherence to prescribed care plans and goals
Simpler communication between patients and health teams reduces complications (36% of the adult U.S. population has basic or below basic health literacy levels)
More comprehensive information via patient-generated health data (PGHD) in the form of manually entered tracking data, biometrics and wearables (i.e. physical activity, weight, food diary, mood diary, glucose, medication adherence)
Reducing social isolation and providing ‘me too’ support in a private online peer support community
Cost reduction by reducing re-admission rates, emergency visits and avoidable hospital stays.
There are many financial incentives for better outcomes and satisfaction measures that can be attained by remotely engaging patients in self-care to augment care team support.
Let’s embrace the digital health revolution by deploying remote patient engagement tools placing the patient’s care plan, coaches, resources and support crew at their fingertips.