Doctor, Patient Collaboration: 7 Ways to Improve Health Care

 
 
By Brian T. Horowitz  |  Posted 2012-08-29
 
 
 

Maximize Physician Text Messaging to Boost Patient Self-Monitoring

Use of text messaging could boost patients' self-monitoring of chronic conditions. Doctors at hospital network Denver Health used Microsoft's Chronic Condition Management platform to send text messages to diabetic patients to check up on blood sugar readings and send reminders about appointments. During their diabetes management trial, when patients responded to doctors' text messages, they were able to improve their blood glucose monitoring at home.

Maximize Physician Text Messaging to Boost Patient Self-Monitoring

Use CRM Applications

CRM applications can be a helpful tool in enabling collaboration between doctors and patients. The Chronic Condition Management platform at Denver Health uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM to enable collaboration between doctors and patients through text messaging. By using CRM applications, doctors and patients can maintain bidirectional communication. Through CRM applications, doctors will be able to see thousands more patients, Dennis Schmuland, chief health strategy officer for U.S. Health and Life Sciences at Microsoft, told eWEEK.

Use CRM Applications

Help Patients Create Personalized Care Plans

Through increased collaboration using customer interaction management (CIM) applications, doctors can enable patients to create personalized care plans, according to Varolii. Care plans can be customized to include smoking-cessation programs or reminders about lab tests and medication. Patients like communications to be specific to the topics they're interested in, McCann said.

Help Patients Create Personalized Care Plans

Use Cross-Channel Interaction

Varolii offers a Patient Interaction Solution that uses text, voice and email to deliver personalized notifications regarding medication adherence and appointments. On July 25 medical group Sharp Rees-Stealy in San Diego began using this cross-channel service to increase patient outcomes and engagement. Sharp Rees-Stealy will use the platform to carry out patient hospital discharge plans, according to Varolii.

Use Cross-Channel Interaction

Nudge the Patient to Be Healthier

"Doctors are saying if we want to reduce costs and we want to have better outcomes, then we need to proactively nudge or interact with our patients, so you have to have multiple ways of doing that," said Varolii's McCann. Varolii's platform uses cross-channel interaction to nudge the patient to monitor chronic conditions, keep to treatment schedules and join wellness programs. Part of the "nudging" includes patient satisfaction surveys, which are required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, McCann said.

Nudge the Patient to Be Healthier

Encourage Mobile Use

Mobile technology allows health care providers to reach patients in areas that are demographically diverse, according to Varolii. Part of the company's business plan is to use the mobile device to interact with a patient, said McCann. Varolii plans to add new Android and iPhone capabilities to its Patient Interaction Solution, which the company launched Jan. 31.

Encourage Mobile Use

Learn From the Banking and Airline Industries

The banking and airline industries have been successful at customizing the preferences of customers, according to McCann. Health care organizations can learn from these industries by customizing communications by age, wealth and time of day or week that they want to be reached, said McCann. Some patients only check email on the weekends, and in some states 20 percent of Americans have shut down a landline phone altogether, so hospitals need to be up-to-date on how patients want to be reached, he said. Varolii's software has a personalization engine that captures these preferences. It creates analytics reports on the outcomes of interactions.

Learn From the Banking and Airline Industries

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