Ensuring connectivity of devices and clinical staff is necessary for driving better care experiences, improved outcomes and cost reductions
- Advanced technology is in place, but problems exist: Although 4.9 million people worldwide used some form of home health technology in 2015, connectivity issues limit the effectiveness and impact of technology.
- More patient engagement is needed: To make care more connected, 85% of all healthcare consumers feel that high-tech engagement by email, text messages and voicemails is important.
- Technology must trigger action: At every point in routine, chronic and transition care, medical providers and their staff need technology available that helps them escalate cases and intervene when necessary.
MOBILE, Ala., September 7, 2016
An estimated 36 million people worldwide are expected to use home health monitoring technology by the year 2020. As medical teams adopt biometric monitoring and other similar technologies, many are finding the limited connectivity of devices and systems problematic. A new West report, Technology-Enabled Communications: The Key to Connected Healthcare, shows that communication gaps between various technologies can make it difficult for clinical staff to recognize urgent needs and respond to patients appropriately. As a result, teams miss opportunities to help patients. However, the report offers a solution for healthcare professionals: use technology-enabled communications – like automated outreach messages and system alerts that flag problems – to make healthcare more connected and effective.
Technology-Enabled Communications: The Key to Connected Healthcare explains that medical teams can leverage communication technology to engage patients and improve care experiences. More specifically, the report gives examples of how technology can be used to communicate with patients between visits, monitor health and automatically respond to issues. It also shows how technology-enabled communications can drive participation in preventive care, help patients successfully manage chronic illnesses, and reduce complications during care transitions.
There is an opportunity to use technology to “activate patients and really create behavior change and accountability, and the by-product of that improved engagement is better adherence to treatment plans and healthier patients,” said Allison Hart, Vice President of Marketing for West’s TeleVox Solutions. Hart says that the idea of patient engagement and activation “has become incredibly important because it extends the connection between the healthcare team and the patient, which translates into successful outcomes and mitigates excessive costs associated with caring for the patient.”
Promoting Routine Care
Technology-Enabled Communications: The Key to Connected Healthcare identifies routine care as one area where communication technology can make a big impact. As the report highlights, this is partly because Americans use routine care at just half of the suggested rate, so there is plenty of room for improvement. Multiple examples within the report prove that sending email, text and voice messages can drive patients to take advantage of valuable preventive services. This is significant because routine care contributes to earlier detection of issues, improved quality of life, and reduced healthcare costs. Most importantly, routine care saves lives.
Elevating Chronic Disease Management
The burden of chronic disease weighs heavily on Americans. According to the CDC, about half of all adults in the U.S. have one or more chronic health condition. But as Technology-Enabled Communications: The Key to Connected Healthcare shows, tech-enabled communications can help relieve some of the burden of chronic disease. For example, a care manager can use technology to create a series of automated communications that support a patient’s disease management care plan by delivering reminders to exercise or follow a prescribed diet. Also, technology can trigger alerts and drive interventions based on data from devices such as blood pressure cuffs, glucometers, and pulse oximeters. As the report discusses, early interventions are necessary for managing chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Improving Transition Care
Patients are particularly vulnerable during care transitions, so extra monitoring is often warranted during and after transfers. Technology-Enabled Communications: The Key to Connected Healthcare suggests that healthcare teams leverage technology to perform outreach and provide additional support following transitions, and that doing so can prevent hospital readmissions, improve health outcomes and reduce care costs.
Ultimately, medical teams and patients will have increasing opportunities to use devices and technologies that take healthcare beyond the clinical setting and transform it into something continuous. As this happens, it is critical that technology, healthcare providers and patients are all connected. A key to achieving connected healthcare is leveraging technology-enabled communications.
- Download the full report, “Technology-Enabled Communications: The Key to Connected Healthcare,” for a deeper look at the findings. It can be found at: https://www.televox.com/downloads/technology_enabled_communications.pdf
- Download infographics from the report at https://www.televox.com/report-resources/
About West’s TeleVox Solutions
West offers TeleVox Solutions to help healthcare providers and other organizations activate positive patient and member behaviors through the delivery of personalized technology-enabled engagement communications. We specialize in leveraging automated voice, email, text and web to connect with healthcare consumers in meaningful and relevant ways – all for the purpose of increasing engagement, improving care quality and driving revenue by optimizing the patient experience.
About The West Engagement Center
West’s Engagement Center solutions help healthcare organizations effectively activate and engage patients and members, beyond the clinical setting, as they traverse the healthcare system. By providing innovative technology and creating strategic communications at key points across the care continuum, West enables healthcare providers to reduce costs, maximize revenue, improve quality and optimize the patient experience.
West is a leading provider of communication services, serving Fortune 1000 companies and clients in a variety of industries including healthcare, telecommunications, retail, financial services, public safety, and technology.