By Janie Tremlett, Wellframe
Cardiology organizations today are under increasing pressure to improve quality and outcomes performance across a variety of measures, whether it’s an organizational priority, regulatory need, or quality improvement initiative. And the stakes are high: organizations who don’t succeed could be risking penalties or leaving revenue on the table for risk-based contracts, attractiveness for narrow networks, readmission penalties, new bundled payments, and MIPS.
Patients Need Continued Guidance Between Visits
As organizations consider quality improvement strategies, bear in mind that it has been proven that patients need long-term, comprehensive support outside the four walls of traditional care delivery to affect cardiac risk factors and enable early interventions:
- 80 percent of the variance in health outcomes is determined by what happens at home, such as social determinant factors, lifestyle choices, and behavioral health1
- Patients forget 40-80 percent of the information that’s relayed to them in the doctor’s office2
- One study showed that it required 8+ sessions with a clinician to drive a smoking abstinence rate among 25.7 percent of patients3
- Dual antiplatelet therapy adherence rate decreases significantly over a one-year period: After month 1, the adherence ranged from 85-98 percent; after 1 year, adherence ranged from 42-96 percent4
But the challenge remains that most cardiology teams simply don’t have the right resources, tools, or technologies to engage, educate, and support patients in the manner they need to improve outcomes.
Introducing Digital Heart Health Management
Boston Scientific and Wellframe have observed that successful cardiology teams have been able to improve quality and outcomes, extend the reach of staff, and strengthen their brand to differentiate by taking a digital heart health management approach. Through this approach, organizations can support patients with interactive, personalized education and guidance beyond the walls of care delivery.
Improving Quality And Outcomes
Many successful cardiology teams offer mobile apps to connect their patients to personalized, long-term, and interactive health support. In doing so, organizations can improve their quality and outcomes performance by encouraging patients to adopt a new perspective on all the factors that contribute to their health. In addition to offering personalized, preventative support via mobile, the right digital heart health management approach also can help cardiology organizations identify patients in need and help them act to prevent adverse health outcomes.
“Patients can often feel overwhelmed when preparing for or recovering from a heart procedure,” says Lance Bates, Vice President and General Manager, Coronary Therapies, Boston Scientific Interventional Cardiology Group. “Wellframe makes it easy for patients to learn, engage, and manage their health. It translates evidence-based, peer-reviewed guidelines and literature into an interactive daily checklist. Patients receive educational articles and videos, appointment and medication reminders, physical activity tracking and secure two-way messaging. They also can receive support from a health coach or their care team and avoid playing telephone tag.”
Extending The Reach Of Clinical Staff
Cardiology staff face a number of barriers in providing proactive support to patients at home. It’s time-consuming to relay patient instructions and education in person. Plus, it’s difficult for patients to retain everything they hear in a short appointment, as patients tend to forget 40-80 percent of information their care providers present to them. Staff may also spend much of their time playing phone tag, and less time on the work they do best. But with a digital heart health management approach, participating cardiology teams can engage patients where they are, through their preferred channel: their smartphones or tablets. “With Wellframe, care teams are also able to streamline patient communications through secure two-way messaging to amplify their reach, without added staffing resources,” says Bates. “Imagine being able to connect with patients wherever they are.”
The Wellframe platform also includes a care team dashboard that uses advanced algorithms to prioritize patients in need of support. This gives care teams access to new insights that can enable early interventions. As a result, care teams can engage more patients toward improved health outcomes, such as reduced hospital readmissions.
Strengthening Brand To Differentiate
Given the rise of consumerization in healthcare, patients have come to expect more convenient, on-demand options for health support. According to an NTT DATA study, 59 percent of healthcare consumers want to see their healthcare experiences reflect those they have in the retail space. And 50 percent said they would leave their current providers for one that promises better technology.
Cardiology organizations who have partnered with Wellframe and Boston Scientific are able to deliver the convenient digital experience that patients want to better manage their heart health at home. For example, patients with PCI will see daily mobile articles in their Wellframe app on topics such as preparing for their procedure, knowing what to talk about with their provider beforehand, and how to watch out for risk factors when they come home. Patients with CHF can review personalized articles to help them understand medications, liquid intake, watching salt in their diet, activity, stress, and emotional health. And cardiac rehab patients can leverage secure messaging to connect with their cardiac rehab team for questions and appointment scheduling on their own time.
By offering on-demand health support and guidance from real clinicians, cardiology teams can improve patient satisfaction and better position their organization to stand out from competitors.
The new offering announced by Wellframe and Boston Scientific gives cardiology teams a proven method to support the holistic needs of patients outside the four walls. “Boston Scientific leads the industry in delivering innovative solutions to improve patients’ lives, and we’re proud to partner in support of that effort,” said Jacob Sattelmair, Wellframe CEO. “Through our combined solutions, cardiology teams can give patients the best possible experience, from the procedure itself to the comprehensive support patients need to prepare or recover at home and manage chronic conditions.”
By delivering a digital heart health management solution, the organizations aim to help cardiology teams improve quality and outcomes, extend the reach of staff to engage more patients, and strengthen their brand to differentiate from competitors.
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Patients' memory for medical information, NIH.
- Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update
- Adherence to Dual Antiplatelet Therapy After Coronary Stenting: A Systematic Review
Matthew J. Czarny et al., Clinical Cardiology