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Mobile devices are becoming a very real part of the healthcare journey. Are your physicians making the most of their capabilities?
The rise of transformative technologies from electronic medical records to wearables is quickly making mobile devices a very real part of the healthcare journey.
READ MORE: Mobile health goes mainstream-Health plans and providers are working with tech companies to make sure that the digital experience is as smooth and engaging as online shopping.
Ninety percent of Americans now own a mobile device, and they spend an average of 43 minutes per month on those devices, compared with just 22 minutes at an average doctor’s visit. Mobile devices make information instantly available to far more people, integrating them with our daily lives more than traditional desktop computers ever did.
John SmithwickClinicians are also seeing the importance of mobile devices-not only to their patients, but as tools to help them deliver quality care in a more time and cost-efficient manner. According to a survey out of the 2015 HIMSS conference, 54% of those using mobile devices to engage with patients have seen cost-savings.
The rise of this collaborative approach to healthcare is one of the crucial steps in the journey toward a more time- and cost-efficient, value-based healthcare world. By utilizing mobile devices, which are already an ingrained part of people’s everyday lives, clinicians can tailor delivery of care, while also receiving data that has a real impact on outcomes.
1. Supporting ongoing, two-way conversations
The saturation of text messaging and social media has conditioned people to expect instantaneous communication. By deploying patient engagement technology, clinicians and patients can use mobile devices for secure, ongoing, two-way conversations that are more aligned with modern communication.
The ability to engage in an ongoing discussion can break down barriers, making patients more comfortable with physicians and transforming them into true resources for health information. In addition to increased patient satisfaction, establishing ongoing communication can also lead to earlier identification of potential adverse health events.
2. Sharing tailored, bite-sized content
We live in a hyper-connected world that is measured in 140 characters, and marked by messages that disappear after 24 hours. Health content is no exception: Care information must be delivered in small, digestible chunks relevant to patients, and accessible anywhere, anytime.
Technology lets healthcare organizations share this educational content at the touch of a button, and customize it to each phase of every patient’s specific healthcare journey.
Have a diabetes patient who has just been discharged from the hospital after a life-threatening rise in blood sugar? Serve them with content that includes one low glycemic recipe a day. By using content to engage patients on a regular basis, clinicians can help proactively prevent readmissions and earn the trust of patients.
3. Remote monitoring
The number of hours available to engage with patients is often severely impacted by the number of hours it takes to chart all the information from a visit. While patients may get less than 30 minutes of their clinician’s time, a physician can spend up to a third of a workday charting. Patient engagement technology allows physicians to reclaim some of those hours by making it easier to monitor patients from afar.
In addition to patient-provided health reports, HIPAA compliant monitoring devices allow physicians to monitor heart rate, blood glucose and other biometrics. In doing so, clinicians can spot health events and address them before they lead to a costly hospital visit.
4. Granting access to real-time data
Patients and providers both are hungry for real-time data-and patient engagement technology can provide it via mobile devices.
For clinicians, the ability to answer patient questions, check in and conduct health visits via mobile devices provides a stream of data that can be collected and analyzed on an ongoing basis. These modern technologies help save time by eliminating many of the hours spent manually charting, faxing records and hand-entering medical data. For patients, this technology can integrate with some electronic medical records and other health information systems to provide a more complete picture of their health.
5. New ways to execute telehealth visits
With mobile devices, clinicians can execute virtual visits in a way that enables the patient to see the face of their doctor (making the visit feel more real) and connect with physicians that might be out of state, while clinicians save money and resources. In fact, most clinicians can actually use telehealth to bring more dollars in the door, without impacting patient satisfaction, via CPT code billing.
To stay relevant and solvent in this new world, healthcare organizations must start looking for technologies that truly integrate with the mobile lifestyle of patients, while also delivering quality, easy-to-access data to physicians.
John Smithwick is the CEO of RoundingWell