Patient Engagement HIT and AJMC both recently published stories about patient surveys that had similar findings when it came to what patients want: more engagement. Patients want engagement and providers need it as the shift to value-based care begins.
In addition to traditional in-person services, one of the surveys found that patients want digital tools to track their own care and to have more convenient telehealth methods for follow-up care. One of the surveys cited found that patients trying to manage chronic conditions often don’t know how to manage their condition and don’t know how to access educational information.
Whether the patient needs a convenient way to access their care team or information about a condition they are facing or they just aren’t sure about how to best manage their health, a patient relationship management solution (PRM) can connect all of the dots. It gets the patient engaged and active in their care and the result is better self-care, quicker intervention when needed and reduced barriers for patients to get the care they need. And those things are especially important for patients facing cancer.
Here are four great ways to increase access and enable engagement using PRM:
- Remote monitoring. When a patient is undergoing chemotherapy, it’s essential that they are able to stay on treatment, have a direct line of communication with their care team and proactive support when they need it. Remote monitoring can be used to encourage medication adherence, track and manage side effects and ensure that patient-reported outcomes are delivered to the care team in an actionable way – not just filed away in an EMR.
- Access to telehealth. A comprehensive telehealth system organizes patient-reported outcomes data from the remote monitoring system. It integrates the information into a triage workboard that filters incoming data from both remote monitoring, patient assessments and incoming calls. It uses built-in logic to surface those patients who are at-risk and require action. When a triage nurse uses the Triage tool to quickly assess, manage, and follow-up with their high risk patients, the patient is better cared for and unnecessary hospitalizations can be avoided.
- Symptom management pathways. When the care team has access to symptom pathways, they are better equipped to resolve acute patient issues while reducing variability in the way care is delivered. By responding to prompts and following branching logic, the nurse is guided down the appropriate path and is empowered to deliver immediate care via standing orders and professional experience. That means more consistent and effective care for the patient.
- Easy patient access to personalized information. A PRM goes beyond the basic functions of a patient portal. While it does all of the things a basic portal does including access to secure messaging and health records, it goes much further. It delivers personalized education during diagnosis and treatment, empowering the patient to take part in shared decision making, manage their self-care and gain the confidence to follow their treatment plan.
There are benefits, both minor and very significant, in getting patients engaged and surveys are showing over and over that tools and methods to do that is what the patients want. As the shift to value-based care marches forward and patients become more savvy consumers of healthcare, providers can make changes to the way they provide care and keep up with patient needs and demands, but without a technology-based solution those changes may be too costly and take too long.