Four hospitals use tablets, portals to improve patient engagement

Ochsner Health System, Stanford Health Care, Sutter Health and UC San Diego Health have developed different models of care that incorporate use of patient-centered technologies with measurable outcomes.

The four hospitals report their results in the March 2019 issue of the journal Health Affairs.

For its part, Ochsner used its patient portal to create a digital medicine program to treat uncontrolled hypertension by combining patient-reported blood pressure data, clinical data, as well as coaching from a care team that offers proactive and preventive interventions in real-time.

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As a result, medication adherence rose 14 percent and 79 percent of patients improved blood pressure control with an overall 29 percent reduction in clinic visits.

Also See: Patient portal helps predict medication discontinuation

“Chronic disease has become the great epidemic of our time,” says Richard Milani, chief clinical transformation officer at Ochsner. “This paper features successful case studies on how health systems can be transformative by using technology, data and new thinking to improve the delivery of care.”

Other projects featured in the Health Affairs article include UC San Diego Health putting an Apple tablet in each inpatient room at Jacobs Medical Center to control temperature, lights and entertainment options, while also enabling patients to access their test results and medication schedules. Results showed patients were more likely to use the patient portal to find resources on improving their health.

Sutter Health used its patient portal to help patients manage their diabetes with online reminders of A1c monitoring, which improved the rate of A1c test completion by 40 percent.

In addition, Stanford Health Care used the portal to help cancer patients handle stress. Patients were surveyed before clinic visits to identify unaddressed symptoms and 40 percent of patients who responded reported experiencing distress, which led to more than 6,000 referrals for psychotherapy, nutrition and other services.

The complete study in Health Affairs is available here.

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