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Written by: Shawn Hewitt on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 Posted in: Outpatient Rehab

How are you engaging your patients beyond therapy?

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim Initiative seeks to improve quality outcomes and population health, improve the patient experience (through quality and satisfaction), and lower overall costs of care per capita. Although some these may create challenges to address, we all can directly impact the patient experience. And what better way to improve patients’ experiences than by involving them in their care?

Improving Quality & Satisfaction

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There are many ways to do this that can go a long way toward improving the quality and satisfaction of the overall patient experience. For example, care providers include patients and families in goal setting, offer patient education, document patients’ subjective reports, etc.

As technology continues to advance, we will see more opportunities to include patients above and beyond just documenting their involvement. Providing patients with additional ways to participate and offer feedback to the care provider is a great way to ensure that we provide better quality care that keeps patients’ satisfaction high. Apps, wearable tech, patient portals, care reminders, patient satisfaction and response to treatment, and patient self-reported outcomes are all becoming the norm, and they should.

Evolving Tools

In the work we do at our software company, we see a lot of opportunity to provide tools for patient engagement. For years we have offered PAC Metrix, which includes the use of the AM PAC patient self-assessment tool to collect data about how patients perceive they are progressing. We also have integration relationships with FOTO (Focus On Therapeutic Outcomes, Inc.) to collect patient outcomes and patient functional performance data.

These have been great ways for therapists to compare how patients feel or perform compared to what the “therapy plan and documentation” shows. We also have a relationship with PhysioTools, which is an exercise program company that provides tools for providers to generate exercise programs for patients. PhysioTools launched a new app on March 1, 2016 called PT Momentum. This app will help motivate your patients to exercise via reminders and training diaries that show status. It also allows patients to provide feedback about their training activities, so therapists can make adjustments as needed.

Enhancing the Patient Experience

These are just a few examples of how we can improve patients’ engagement and their overall experience. Our focus is finding ways to improve patients’ experiences through tools that promote and capture data and outcomes that drive improvements in quality, satisfaction, and the overall care provided. Look for more to come from Mediware as it relates to patient engagement and other ways to meet the “triple aim.”

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