Improving outcomes and avoiding costly readmissions is at the top of most healthcare leaders’ agendas. The focus on these topics is of particular importance given the advent of programs such as the Hospital Readmission Reduction program.
An effective way of reducing readmissions rates while increasing patient satisfaction is with timely, easily accessible aftercare instructions and patient monitoring post-discharge. Given ever-present time and resource constraints (and limited hiring budgets), success with this approach requires two key components:
1) an automated, simple approach to reaching the majority of discharged patients and
2) timely identification of those patients that represent the biggest risk to readmission.
Mobile health technology ("mHealth") is fast becoming the go-to approach for patient-provider communication. While mHealth covers a broad spectrum of modalities, one that stands out due to its immediacy, simplicity and ubiquity is text messaging. Secure texting is a versatile tool for staying in contact with patients and monitoring their progress post-discharge. By deploying a mobile strategy, practitioners can stay in contact with high-risk patients to ensure compliance with treatment plans and reduce the risk of readmissions.
Monitoring Patients Post-Discharge Using HIPAA Compliant Communication
Open communication after a procedure can reduce a patient’s odds of being readmitted. Our text-first strategy has helped clinicians drop readmissions by 30% due to the benefits of timely follow-up messaging.
Our customers have achieved these results utilizing a simple, yet effective, strategy that enables practitioners and their staff to send patients follow-up messages containing a four-question assessment, 24-hours after a procedure.
The success of this strategy is due, in part, to patients’ familiarity with texting. Unlike patient engagement apps, texting is straight-forward and patients understand the interface. Mobile messaging’s immediacy provides patients with care instructions at precisely the moment when they are needed most - and at their fingertips.
Focus On High-Risk Patients
Identifying high-risk patients prior to discharge allows hospital staff to allocate additional time and resources to these individuals. Key indicators and models, such as LACE, are effective tools for identifying high-risk patients. However, additional measures can also be put in place to stay in contact with patients whose responses to follow-up assessments indicate that they need additional resources devoted to their care. Using automated mobile health strategies, clinical staff is provided with a scalable way of contacting patients who are in need after a procedure.
With CareWire, practitioners are providing their patients with real-time monitoring after a procedure. If vitals must be taken, such as blood glucose or blood pressure, practitioners can schedule automated texts to remind patients to do so on a daily basis (or more frequently if necessary). To streamline the response process, parameters can be set to alert practitioners if these data points fall into ranges that indicate that the patient may need additional support.
By utilizing mobile health technologies that patients understand and are familiar with, practitioners have the ability to continuously monitor them – even after discharge - without adding additional resources. This simple communication strategy results in reduced readmissions, significant cost savings and better outcomes. To see the benefits that this platform can deliver to your organization, please contact CareWire today.
Thinking about texting patients?
Learn from Our Customers
Watch the archive from our webinar to learn how KU MedWest Surgery Center and the Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota are taking advantage of this communication channel to engage their patients.