Digital Disease Management to optimize care and improve patient outcomes

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Patients as Partners: 7 Ways to Improve Patient Compliance

November 20, 2019

Improve Patient Compliance Using Patient Generated Health Data and Patient Engagement

Although most commonly used in reference to medication, patient compliance or adherence is how well a patient follows a prescribed medical regimen or treatment plan as it is intended. The duration, frequency, and complexity of the behavior(s) required of the patient,all have an impact on the level of patient compliance.  

“Patient compliance is “the extent to which a person’s behavior (in terms of taking medications, following diets, or executing lifestyle changes) coincides with medical or health advice.”

Patient Compliance and Health Behavior Models

Patient non-compliance is a huge problem for the healthcare industry with reports of non-compliance costing the US economy between $100 and $300 billion dollars annually, inclusive of costs related to avoidable hospitalizations, nursing home admissions, and premature deaths. Another report places the figure even higher, at more than $564 billion dollars annually. To prevent the burden that non-compliance places on the healthcare industry and the economy, improving patient compliance must be a priority for all healthcare stakeholders.

7 Ways to Improve Patient Compliance

Improving patient compliance requires patients to become engaged in their healthcare, taking responsibility for their well-being, and actively participating in their health decisions. Healthcare stakeholders have begun implementing different patient engagement strategies and tools to improve patient compliance and resultant health outcomes. However, for any of these strategies to be successful, healthcare stakeholders need to work with patients as partners and actively engage them in the process. Healthcare organizations can improve patient compliance by:

  1. Devising and implementing policies and procedures that support patient engagement as well as policies that help identify the non-compliant patients
  2. Leveraging patient generated health data to assist in creating treatment decisions
  3. Utilizing available healthcare technology
  4. Facilitating patient education about their illnesses/conditions and how to manage their conditions, including medication management
  5. Including the patient in the decision-making process surrounding their healthcare
  6. Engaging and empowering caregivers to provide patient-centered care
  7. Measuring progress and making changes where necessary

Simplifying the process surrounding the treatment regimen as much as possible will go a long way in improving patient compliance.

Patient Engagement to Improve Patient Compliance

An engaged patient is more likely to be a compliant patient. Healthcare organizations need to invest in patient engagement strategies to improve patient compliance and health outcomes. Policies must be developed and implemented to demonstrate the organization’s commitment to patient engagement and procedures for all staff to follow in engaging patients must also be implemented. Organizations must alsoensure that patients are treated with respect and that the organization feels welcoming to patients. The way patients are treated impacts how much they value the care they are provided by an organization which may also influence how well they comply with their treatment regimen.

“Engaged patients are better able to make informed decisions about their care options.”


WHO Report

Organizations should also (i) ensure that care providers are afforded adequate time with each patient so that they can really communicate with the patient to find out their health status and how their lives outside of the healthcare setting may be impacting their compliance (ii) make it a policy for providers to ask questions such as “What medications are you taking?” and “How often do you take a particular medication?” Providers also need adequate time to educate patients on their chronic conditions and how best to manage them.

Healthcare organizations should utilize technology for patient engagement which can improve patient compliance – employ electronic health records (EHRs) to simplify the patient registration process, facilitate online bill payments, secure messaging, etc. EHRs can also help providers to easily keep track of and update patients’ medications thus facilitating the smooth coordination of a patient’s medications across all healthcare stakeholders. Healthcare organizations should develop patient portals that provide patients with relevant information and facilitate interaction with the healthcare team, and incorporate technology that can make the medication prescription and dispensing process simpler and faster, such as Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) or electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) tools.

Patient Generated Health Data (PGHD) can be Used to Improve Patient Compliance

Patients nowadays are generating a tremendous amount of their health care data on their own through use of technologies such as wearable devices and mHealth apps. Patients are also being monitored remotely through registered medical devices such as the pacemaker and blood glucose monitors that monitor data on heart rate and blood glucose levels. Healthcare organizations should encourage healthcare providers to use PGHD to assist with creating treatment regimens for their patients. Utilizing PGHD in this manner can improve patient engagement and by extension, improve compliance as well. It has been shown that patients were more engaged when PGHD were used during their office visits compared to when PGHD were not used. Patients who see and feel that their healthcare providers are invested in their health and value their contributions including their PGHD, are more likely to be engaged and compliant with treatment plans.

In order to facilitate and encourage the use of PGHD in treatment and care, healthcare organizations can also harness and implement Digital Disease Management Solutions that provides a user-friendly environment to identify changes in disease condition, manage medication adherence and enable easy communication between patients and healthcare providers. Improving patient compliance is essential to reducing disease burden, the cost of chronic care and improving patient outcomes. Healthcare organizations need to take necessary steps to improve patient compliance by treating patients as partners and utilizing available healthcare technologies and PGHD.

Learn more about Acuma Health technologies to help you incorporate patient generated health data into your healthcare organizations or begin leveraging healthcare technology today with this guide.


Patient Generated Health Data

How Patient Generated Health Data Changes the Digital Health Game

November 5, 2019

Healthcare Stakeholders Can Leverage Patient Generated Health Data to Improve Outcomes and Reduce Costs

Patient generated health data (PGHD) is defined by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as “health-related data created, recorded, or gathered by or from patients (or family members or other caregivers) to help address a health concern.” This includes biometric data, lifestyle choices, treatment history, health history, and symptoms. This is a deviation from the previous scenario in healthcare where the clinician was responsible for all the data collection, typically done during a patient’s visit to the office. Today, a lot of healthcare data is being generated by patients on their habitual living environment.

Why the Rise in Patient Generated Health Data?

Patient generated health data (PGHD) is increasingly becoming a mainstay in healthcare and its growth is being driven by  the significant advances in healthcare technology and the proliferation and popularity of consumer health devices which are becoming more affordable. Patients are now able to collect health-related data 24/7 and/or enter data into some software application which allows them to keep track of fitness and other health goals. Health devices like the Fitbit, Apple Watch, and smart clothing, are wearables that collect data such as steps and heart rate. There are mobile applications that collect data on lifestyle metrics such as caloric intake, physical activity, hydration, tobacco and alcohol use, and medication adherence. There are also registered medical devices such as the pacemaker and blood glucose monitors that monitor data on heart rate and blood glucose levels. Some of these devices allow for remote monitoring where data is collected remotely and transmitted to the healthcare provider.

76% of patients believe that wearables have the potential to help them better manage their health and potentially improve it.

Accenture Report

Big data analytics is another factor that is driving the increase in PGHD. A lot of investment is going into big data analytics due to its potential to offer advanced intelligence and objectivity. The ability to collect and analyze large quantities of health data is invaluable to population health management (PHM) and precision medicine. The National Institute of Health has launched an All of Us ResearchProgram in an effort to “gather data from one million or more people living in the United States to accelerate research and improve health.” PGHD will play a big role in this and other research programs that are seeking for large amounts of patient data collection.

Leveraging Patient Generated Health Data can Benefit your Healthcare Organization

Patient generated health data (PGHD) is here to stay and healthcare stakeholders can harness the continuous stream of PGHD that is available and leverage it to improve patient care. PGHD can provide clinicians with valuable insights into the health of patients outside of the care setting. Leveraging PGHD can benefit the patient, the provider, and the healthcare organization in various ways including:

  1. Disease management: PGHD can help providers to identify trends and outliers, allowing for more efficient data analysis and monitoring. PGHD is especially beneficial in the management of chronic conditions where remote monitoring devices generate data that can help providers to intervene earlier enabling better tracking of the progression of disease, preventing complications, and avoiding hospital admissions and readmissions.
  2. Improve patient outcomes: this comes from proactive monitoring of changes in routine, identification of exacerbations before they result in acute episodes and timely interventions.
  3. Improve patient engagement: the use of PGHD by providers increases patient engagement. A 2016 survey by WebMD and Medscape Education found that 65% of providers reported that their patients were more engaged when PGHD was used during their office visits. The survey also found that 97% of patients were more likely to measure, collect, and provide PGHD to their providers if they felt that the data will be used to develop their treatment plan or care.
  4. Reduce costs: the more efficient and timely treatment and improved outcomes associated with the use of PGHD will in turn result in reduced costs from fewer admissions and readmissions. Providers will also avoid penalties from high readmission rates.
  5. Support value-based care reimbursements: with the move towards value-based care, clinicians can benefit financially for using PGHD in patient care through Advanced Payment Models (APMs). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will reimburse providers for remote patient monitoring services such as the monitoring of physiological factors like weight, blood pressure, pulse oximetry, and respiratory flow rate as per the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule.
  6. Improve analytics: continuous data on patients provided by PGHD can help to develop predictive analytics models based on advanced algorithms
  7. Compliance with federal regulations: incorporating PGHD into the care they provide will help healthcare providers and organizations comply with federal regulations. Presently, the CMS through the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) requires that healthcare providers integrate PGHD into Electronic Health Records (EHRs) using Certified Electronic Health Record Technology, although the CMS is seeking comments on this requirement in its 2020 Quality Payment Program Proposed Rule and Request for Information for 2021.

The healthcare industry is changing and is moving towards more patient-centred care, further patient engagement, and increased use of healthcare technologies. A big part of this change is patients generating their own data on their health status and conditions. Progressive healthcare stakeholders can digitally transform their organizations and derive numerous benefits from leveraging PGHD to improve the care they provide and add to the vast amount of information needed to improve health systems and make breakthroughs in areas such as precision medicine.

Learn more about Acuma Health technologies to help you incorporate patient generated health data into your healthcare organizations or begin leveraging healthcare technology today with this guide.


Patient Reported Outcomes Enhance Clinical Care

July 26, 2019

Healthcare Technology to Streamline Patient Generated Health Data Collection to Improve Care

Patient reported outcomes (PROs) are a key patient generated health data source for patient care models that reward value over volume. PROs can add significant value in drug development, clinical care, formulary, and coverage decision making.

Traditionally, access to longitudinal PROs at the point of care has been limited at best. Digital health technology can ease the burden of traditional methods of collecting PROs – tedious surveys or time-consuming phone interviews which were sporadic in nature. Wearable and mobile devices allow for frictionless collection of real-time, actionable PROs to optimize care. For instance, patients can report symptoms or adverse drug events (ADEs) that they may be experiencing from a drop-down list with the click of a button on their wearable or mobile devices. Severity of pain and, bleeds can be reported via an intuitive mannequin interface. Images, videos, and text descriptions can be captured by the patient and uploaded for review by the care team.

Realizing the potential for PROs to improve care quality and value, the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) convened a forum of healthcare stakeholders to identify solutions to further the use of PROs and produced a whitepaper, AMCP Partnership Forum: Improving Quality, Value, and Outcomes with Patient Reported Outcomes

Some of the recommendations from healthcare stakeholders were:

  • To streamline the PRO collection and healthcare data management process by using common healthcare technology platforms
  • For PRO data to be integrated with medical records and claims data to provide stakeholders with a better understanding of patient health in real-time and at the point-of-care.

Find out how Acuma Health’s Digital Disease Management Solution can collect and leverage patient generated health data to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes.