Friday, February 2, 2018

Get Smart

              Whether it’s a readout from a research firm or gleamed from interviews with physicians themselves, one thing medical professionals often cite as high on their wish lists is better educated patients. And no wonder: from lumbar fusion to breast-cancer related lymphedema; COPD to diabetes, patients who are better educated adhere to their medication more often,  meet target clinical goals and lower utilization rates.    

              Lower costs. Healthier patients. Better outcomes. 

              And yet, I’ve heard more than once something along the lines of, ‘Well, of course, every physician wants a better education patient’.

              Let’s cut the cynicism. 

              Better educated, more engaged patients are good for doctors, nurses, payers and, of course, patients.  Patients who know more about their disease or condition become active participants in their care – instead of standing on the sidelines. With an active role, patients can make appropriate lifestyle changes, stick to drug regimens, and communicate more effectively with their care providers.  

              We want patient partners, not patient spectators. 

              So, how do we get there?

              Thankfully, the era of a brochure and a goodbye is long past us. While printed material is certainly valuable and we shouldn’t overlook the importance of printed collateral in certain populations like the elderly, new digital platforms offer the opportunity for patients to interactively learn more about their health and their role in improving it. 

              BeeWell allows physicians to connect directly with their patients, delivering individualized, actionable care plans. With clear guidance on their mobile devices on what to do and what not to do before an operation, for instance, physicians can reduce complications – and costs – while improving the overall patient experience. BeeWell recognizes that much of a patient’s care happens outside the office; by keeping clear, simple and effective direction in the palm of their hands, patients can help take ownership of their treatment. 

              Mytonomy delivers clinical information without feeling clinical. Unique video content and intuitive pre-procedure lists all underscore an immersive atmosphere that is comprehensive yet simple. Patients feel better prepared and better informed. Physicians reduce wasted time and resources. With a focus on improving the experience, Mytonomy has also improved outcomes.

              Through point of care digital tablets, anatomy boards and a wide library of waiting room digital videos, Outcome Health in many ways helps patients and their providers speak the same language. Complex conditions are made easier to understand. Treatment options are more thoroughly communicated. Targeted information helps all parties stay on the same page. 

              Look: a pilot flies no better if his or her passengers know what a safe altitude is. A chef is no better off his or her patrons know the difference between a crudité and a croquette. 

              But medicine is different. Educated patients equal improved outcomes.

Mental Health's Moment