August 5, 2015

Increased Interoperability Will Lead to Increased Patient Engagement

Mohan Balachandran
Mohan Balachandran

Datica Alumni — Former Co-Founder

Mobile health applications, wearable technology, and remote patient monitoring devices all present exemplary options for meeting patient engagement goals. Since HITECH passed in 2009, more providers have narrowed their focus on improving patient engagement in their practices, especially since meaningful use requires patients to view, download, and access their health information. All of these solutions can help minimize costs and increase improved care results, but the leaders in the industry recognize that increased patient engagement and maximized interoperability will most likely be the ultimate solution for long-term sustainability of the advantages seen.

Because individuals are becoming more active participants in their personal care, patient engagement is on the rise. You can see shared decision making between providers and patients, stimulating conversations and allowing patients to select preferable treatments. By directing patients to pay greater attention to their medical needs, care coordination is improved between hospital visits, and mismanagement healthcare costs are reduced overall.

Healthcare IT systems and various other technologies will contribute to more compelling patient engagement. As more developers emphasize improving interoperability throughout the healthcare industry, medical providers are better aligning their resources to suit the patient’s medical needs. A myriad of channels are being productized to increase communication between clinicians and patients, such as secure patient portals and compliant messaging platforms.

The healthcare sector is overwhelmingly transitioning to a digital and mobile focused industry but that continuum can be broken down into four categories:

  1. Health, fitness and wellbeing
  2. Self-diagnostics
  3. Acute condition management
  4. Chronic condition management

Each of these can be supported by different mobile technologies but all inclusive access to the care these categories address cannot be achieved in an environment without interoperability. Interoperability is mandatory to facilitate a more comprehensive data exchange.

Patients will always be at a disadvantage by the deficiency of interoperability, so that is why there has been an increased focus and awareness on developing new interoperable tools for the consumer market as of late. There are certain focuses that need to be addressed as they are proving to be challenges, such as how the new market isn’t conducive to the free flow of health data that would permit patients to take control of their care. With that said, the new pivot needs to be on convincing clinicians to share information and include patient-reported data in the constant flow of information that will allow real-time access to care.

If you want to read about how Datica was able to contribute to the Department of Veteran Affairs increasing patient engagement, check out our new case study.

tag Interoperability Engagement mHealth