A host of recent stories related to data, healthcare IT, and new applications show how technology can boost patient engagement and create better care. They also prove that technology used correctly can empower patients to take ownership of their care and chronic disease management. Many healthcare IT changes are being driven by the Millennials and Gen Z patients who are digital natives and expect healthcare to be accessible across device and on demand. Also, in this roundup of recent healthcare stories, we learn how Mission Health is pledging funds to support access to healthcare in rural North Carolina. Read the stories here:
How to Use Big Data Analytics to Boost Patient Engagement
As wearable devices, patient portals, and social media become more commonplace, both patients and providers now have access to more big data than ever before. However, all this information may do more harm than good if clinicians and patients do not have meaningful tools for interpreting, sharing, and interacting with this data. Healthcare leaders can leverage big data analytics tools, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and natural language processing, to draw useful conclusions and ensure patients actively participate in their own care. An example is patients with chronic diseases, who must engage in management strategies and adhere to treatment plans in order to maintain their health and keep care costs low. While self-management interventions can allow patients to independently keep track of their health and actively engage in their own care, they often lose motivation to continue chronic self-management programs if the content, goals, and benefits are not tailored to their individual needs. Read the article here.
Geisinger App to Support Patients in Chronic Disease Management
Geisinger and Merck have joined forces to create two new patient- and caregiver-facing apps to support chronic disease management and empower patients to take ownership of their care and chronic disease management. The applications will leverage SMART on FHIR technology; use of the open, standards-based platform will allow all patients and providers to adopt the apps, regardless of device type. They will help patients manage the logistics of their care, such as scheduling and planning aspects of complex treatment or organizing their medications and should improve medication adherence and care coordination. They also will allow for two-way communication between providers and patients or caregivers. Specifically, the app will enable patients to view both their medical and personal appointments to coordinate care, offer a patient-managed medication scheduler, allow patients to express their personal preferences or values to inform health decisions, and display information about care team members. Read more about it here.
How Millennials and Gen Z are Driving the Digital Healthcare Revolution
According to Pew Research, there are more than 71 million Americans between the ages of 22 and 37, making them the majority of the workforce today. They are on track to become the largest generation in the United States, and their tech-driven lifestyles are fueling a digital revolution in healthcare. With instant access to information and the ubiquitous ability to transact in retail and finance through their mobile devices, their expectations for convenience and transparency are moving into healthcare. While healthcare providers have been slow to adopt the latest technologies, they will have to move quickly to survive the digital revolution. Moving appointment reminders, billing statements and payment options to an accessible and convenient mobile system can be a big step in the right direction.
While stereotypes often portray Millennials as slackers, they are an increasingly powerful group of influencers in society, politics, and in the economy—they are also on track to become the most powerful decision-makers in healthcare. Read more about it here.
Mission Health Promises Millions in Community, Rural Health Funds
The North Carolina-based health system will fund community and rural health programs that address the social determinants of health in rural areas by donating parts of its proceeds from a proposed healthcare acquisition to those efforts. Mission Health has pledged that should its proposed acquisition by HCA Healthcare (HCA) come to fruition, it will issue $15 million in grant funding to rural communities struggling with care access. It will procure these funds from proceeds of the acquisition, including a $5 million up-front payment and other payments to be made over a three-year period. Although the acquisition has not yet come through, Mission Health is proactively working to quell patient fears by dedicating funds to rural areas and stated it had always been planning on using earnings from the acquisition to bolster its community care programs. Read the story here.