I'm struck by the wise comments presented in this recent piece from mHealthNews. Editor Eric Wicklund wrote about the efforts of Kyra Bobinet, MD, MPH to increase the "emotional intelligence" of communications between provider and patient. "If it's personal and relevant," says Bobinet, "that should work."
I couldn't agree more. Generic messaging of the "everybody ought to get a flu shot" variety has little resonance with the patient and is unlikely to impact behavior in a big way. Specific, tailored messages along the lines of "Because your last A1C diabetes test was high, you need to recheck again now" are more motivating. Of course, they are much harder to produce if you don't have an automated system to scan the information you have about the patient, identify the most important opportunities to improve care, and reach out to the patient in language they will understand via media they will accept.
This is not the sort of process that most practices can do on their own. It requires some infrastructure and more than a little staff time to do all that communicating and engaging! Patient Engagement Systems offers a software-as-a-service solution that allows you to connect to your patients, keep them engaged in their care, and has been proven to improve outcomes and reduce the total cost of care. As more and more practices, payers and Accountable Care Organizations realize they need to increase engagement on a large scale to improve quality and reduce costs, they are turning to automated systems to do the job.