The Benefits of Adding the Patient to the Care Team

Written by: Sarah Kromidas
12/22/2020 | RESOURCES

The overloading of care teams is particularly acute during the pandemic, where healthcare professionals are tasked to monitor patients with a suspected or confirmed coronavirus diagnosis. I see evidence of this within Cedar Gate’s customer base. As of this writing, more than 43,000 patients are being actively managed by care teams using Cedar Gate’s COVID-19 Patient Monitoring solution. Each patient requires regular check-ins, assessments, documentation, and reporting. The sheer numbers are overwhelming and nearly unmanageable.

With direct input from our customers, Cedar Gate has created a new software product – the Mobile Care Plan – that supports the care team by extending the care coordination workflow to the patient via a mobile web app. Data collected through the Mobile Care Plan flows into Cedar Gate’s Central Worklist care coordination tool, which provides task and decision support for groups of patients with common care gaps or conditions. The first use case for the Cedar Gate Mobile Care Plan enable remote monitoring of COVID-19 Patients in Central Worklist. We believe there are several benefits to including the patient as a member of the care team, including increased care team capacity, enhanced patient satisfaction, and improved population health.

Increase Care Team Capacity

Efficiency gains for care team staff is an immediate benefit of including the patient on the care team. Using the Mobile Care Plan to conduct 1:1 outreach, data capture and documentation can free up time that can be redirected to patients with more complex needs. Cedar Gate customers using our Mobile Care Plan for COVID-19 patient monitoring are automating regular check-ins and self-assessments for symptomatic or confirmed COVID-19 patients. Responses are automatically logged in the care coordination worklist, with color-coded visual prompts and reporting functionality that makes it easy to see patient check-ins and health status. This gives practices the capacity to manage patient surges without needing to hire additional staff. Beyond the pandemic, this functionality can be applied to health improvement programs that require more detailed patient self-assessments, such as depression screening.

Enhance Patient Satisfaction

One way to boost patient satisfaction is to make engagement more convenient. For patients with COVID-19 symptoms, regular check-ins are important because it provides the data needed to determine if his or her condition is worsening or improving. Collecting this data remotely is easier for patients because the engagement occurs on their terms, at a time that is convenient for them. In addition, patient engagement with healthcare is highly correlated with short-term health benefits. Patients will become more engaged when they know their input directly impacts their care. In the case of the Mobile Care Plan, information provided by the patient is flows in real-time into the care team’s workflow tool, where serious issues are instantly flagged for outreach or intervention.

Improve Population Health

When the practice can proactively coordinate care and patients are engaged with their care team around a shared care plan, then patient and population health will inevitably improve. This is true in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, but more broadly with value-based care delivery. Continuous patient monitoring is a requirement for value-based care. Automating these ongoing touchpoints and interactions has become an important capability for health systems to exceed the requirements in compliance with their pay-for-performance agreements.

What makes the Cedar Gate Mobile Care Plan unique is that it captures patient-generated data, evaluates and deposits it into the care team’s worklist. When patients are presented with actionable tasks that drive the care team workflow, they are not only providing information; they are playing a crucial role in their own health outcomes. Contrary to what you might think, patients won’t object to shouldering some of the burden normally carried by their care team. Their engagement will have a direct and measurable impact their health outcomes, and to their clinic’s bottom line.

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