As the pioneer in patient relationship management, we have long advocated for putting the patient at the center of their care. We also believe that technology plays an important role, as cancer care becomes more complex and the number of stakeholders increases. Care teams need a digital platform that easily facilitates coordinated care to quickly and consistently manage patients when issues arise. Patients need digital tools to actively participate in their care, access data and educational content, and contact their care team when they need assistance. This digital connection is not just important, it’s been shown to impact patient satisfaction, improve outcomes and reduce the cost of care.
As we talk to oncology practices across the country about patient relationship management technology we often hear “we have an EMR for that” or “we already have a portal.” Yet, innovative practices that have been actively preparing for value-based care are saying something different regarding the importance of electronic tools beyond the EMR for both them and their patients. Here are three things to consider as you think about how you will fare in value-based programs like MIPS.
- All portals are not equal. When customers return to the Navigating Care platform following disappointing experiences with other portals, we hear similar feedback. Other portals simply check the box, they don’t actually give the patient a better experience. Our patient engagement tool gives patients one central place to access their information, review personalized education, use tools to communicate with friends and family, and learn from and connect to a community of others like them. As one patient told us, “This is the one place where I can get, keep and find information I need.” There’s also an added bonus to giving patients a great tool for managing their health: your care team will have a lot fewer calls to return and questions to answer. Patients want to get engaged, let them do it on their terms.
- Coordinated care requires visibility. There is widespread agreement that an EMR is an excellent place to store data. What it isn’t is a tool for coordinating care and ensuring everything that is supposed to be done for each patient is in fact being done. Jessa Dunivan at Northwest Medical Specialities told us, “Navigating Cancer compliments our EMR and it allows our staff to carry out quality measures while enabling us to provide important support to each other. I can jump into Navigating Cancer, pull a report, and know who needs immediate attention. I don’t know of any EMR that can do that.” When everyone is on the same page and has a holistic view, the patient gets better care and has a better experience.
- Information isn’t useful if it’s static. EMRs are built to hold information – often scanned documents that are only viewed if someone if looking specifically for them. There’s no automatic alert system or connection back to the care team. Once the information is entered, that’s it. With Patient Relationship Management software, you can actively manage patients and intervene quickly and effectively. For instance, you can track oral adherence via patient-reported outcomes. A real time dashboard of patient feedback can surface if adherence is becoming an issue and you can then identify a way to address it. Perhaps it indicates a problem with your chemo teach sessions or a need to provide ongoing educational support to the patient. It could be medication adherence, elevated depression or distress, the status of a patient’s advance care plan or any number of things that should be actively tracked and managed for your patients. With a PRM, you’ll have real time feedback, ensuring patients are receiving the best care possible.
The stakes are only getting higher for cancer care providers. Checking the box and filing the paperwork simply won’t be good enough. Programs like MIPS are upon us – you will soon be accountable for cost of care and be compared to your peers. Get ahead of the rest with a comprehensive plan to put the patient at the center of their and care and achieve true patient engagement.