Patient EngagementUncategorized

How Technology Can Improve Patient Engagement

By December 15, 2016 No Comments

It’s been a long two weeks in the hospital fighting an antibiotic-resistant infection. And while the hospital staff worked tirelessly around the clock to keep this 82 year old grandfather alive, it’s time to go home. He will need continued intravenous antibiotic therapy at home for the next six weeks, including preparation, administration and disposal of medication every 8 hours. His wife has dementia, so he lives with his daughter, a teacher and mother of two. She’s not a doctor or nurse. Who will take care of him?

She will-with the help of his team of doctors: the blood specialist, generalist, pharmacist, lead nurse and team-lead physician. It’s called technology.

How does technology improve patients’ lives?

This story is not unlike many others. The hospital patient goes home and needs continued care: follow up treatment, doctor’s visits, dietary plans and medication. Without a dedicated and professionally guided caregiver, it may be impossible to keep up. But if a physician is a phone call, email or text away, at-home care seems less daunting.

Patient engagement is an integral part of patient recovery and reduces the likelihood of hospital readmissions, according to Healthcare IT news. How quickly and successfully patient health improves after a hospital stay depends largely on patient understanding, self or assisted care and proactive participation in recovery. Hospital staff-patient communication is paramount.

Communication is the first line of defense

Before, during and after hospital discharge, healthcare personnel must inform, instruct and monitor patients and their families in reaching health recovery and management goals. In other words, hospitals need to stay in touch long after the hospital stay ends. This can be achieved through effective, targeted communication.

The first essential step consists of information given at the hospital being effectively communicated (in language tailored to the abilities of recipients), so that patients and their families know the diagnosis and treatment of short or long-term care.

By using the right tools to educate and communicate, hospitals can send patients home. When people are aware of each step in patient care and recovery, they are more likely to follow the program.

This may also be the time to discuss options for the patient’s post-discharge care and warning signs to seek additional or emergency treatment. Enlisting patients and families in the decision-making process about their options engages and empowers patients, which leads to overall greater patient satisfaction.

Additionally, convenient access to data management banks helps hospital staff coordinate post-hospitalization care by directing patients to local community providers for follow up treatment or to explore other options without unnecessary delay.

Finally, technology, such as social media, text messages, emails and even phone calls, connects healthcare providers to at-home patients and their carers in the treatment and recovery process. Through downloadable discharge instructions, electronic reminders about care instructions and remote monitoring, healthcare providers and staff can virtually oversee patient care and progress, ensuring milestone achievements on the road to health.

Health Hero is easy, intuitive, and most importantly: human. For benefit brokers, insurance companies, and hospitals, Health Hero provides smart & personalized health engagement experiences that are highly engaging and compatible with most devices. Contact us today to schedule a demo!

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