John Moore at Chilmark Research wrote another insightful blog piece on his post-HIMSS impressions. John was disappointed that there are little talk about ACOs, and by the requirements of ACOs and Meaningful Use, patient engagements. In his words:
HIMSS and most vendors are still giving lip-service to patient engagement. Rather than seeing a slow rise in discussing how to engage consumers via HIT, this issue is something that few vendors bother mentioning and when they do, it is still with the old message of how to market to consumers with these types of tools rather than engaging consumers/patients as part of the care team.
That is inline with our observations. Like most enterprise IT departments, hospital IT is set up to address operational issues — not to provide strategic insights into the hospital’s overall goals. So, it is quite natural that they are very deep in building and certifying their EHRs to get government money these days. As a conference of healthcare IT and their vendors, the HIMSS rightfully reflects this.
However, that does NOT mean that the hospital clinical executives are oblivious to the challenges of ACO and patient engagement. In fact, hospitals are already under a lot of financial pressure to reduce un-scheduled re-admissions within 30 days from discharge. That is very ACO-like if you ask me. They have to do it through patient engagement. So, how do they do it? The IT department is too busy with EHR deployment! Many hospitals we know are taking the most expensive and potentially wasteful approach — hiring nurse case managers to follow up EACH PATIENT.
At Ringful Health, we thrive to build solutions for hospitals to better and more efficiently engage their post-discharge patients. Our solutions uses multi-modal communications to reach patients, incorporate evidence-based guidelines and contents, leverage automated rules and workflow engines, and fits into existing hospital teamwork frameworks (e.g., TEAMSTEPPS, HPI/HPC).
If you are a hospital executive clinician looking for a solution to better engage post-discharge patients, please get in touch with us!