Empowering patients to fully participate in their care and to manage their health over the long term is key to solving the many challenges of health care today. Thus, we believe patient engagement represents one of the greatest opportunities for development. Below is a sampling of several of our projects over the past year that have focused on easing patient care and making it easier for patients to take an active role in their health.
Minimizing the ‘recency effect’
MoodTrek, a new application developed by the Tiger Institute, is designed to minimize the impact of the recency effect on the diagnosis and treatment of depression. Composed of two parts, this patient-facing app also has a provider-facing view within the EHR. The app allows patients to track key information about their well-being, while the EHR view gives providers a deeper, more accurate understanding of their patients.
Over the past year, we have expanded the usage of MoodTrek from a small pilot of approximately 20 users at the University of Missouri Student Health Center to more than 1,500 users across multiple health systems.
In addition, we have been able to expand the availability of this tool to also include minors between the ages of 13 and 17. We now offer MoodTrek on both the Android and the iOS platforms.
Easy access through self-enrollment
Being able to easily create an account is the first step towards engaging patients in using their patient portal. Historically, patients have been forced to use a cumbersome email invitation process to obtain a patient portal account. As a result, only 30-35% of invited patients actually created an account.
In contrast, Self Enrollment provides an easy, secure alternative by allowing both new and existing patients to sign up when and where they want, with no assistance required. Over the past year, Self Enrollment has quickly gained popularity. In April 2016, more than 800 patients used the tool to create a portal account — up from just 200 patients in July 2015. We continue to improve Self Enrollment, and by the end of the year, patients also will be able to use their mobile phone to validate their identity and sign up for the portal securely.
Patients are getting information they need. and we have proof
Our clinicians are using Meducate, a depart medication education solution, to remedy a Joint Commission citation, while providing patients with education on the medications they will be taking at home.
Prior to the creation of this MPage component, nurses were hand-writing the next dose date and time for take home medications on the depart summary and giving that piece of paper to the patient. This information was not consistently being scanned into the EHR, a key step in recording the proof of this documentation.
Clinicians now have one location where they can:
- See if medication reconciliation has been completed
- View the inpatient medications and details on the last dose given to the patient
- Enter the next dose date and time for the corresponding home medication
- Store that information electronically
We updated the Depart Summary to print the next dose date and time beside each home medication. This information is also available to patients through our patient portal.
Nursing quickly adopted this new tool and used it in 70% of discharges within the first month of deployment. Meducate has now been deployed to several other Cerner clients.
Over the next year, we plan to renew our focus on patient engagement. We have focused our current roadmap on making it easier for patients to do business with us, creating more personalized care, and open opportunities for patients to not just be treated, but to further collaborate on their care.
In addition, we are excited by the implications of advances in voice-to-text, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence technologies. These tools can radically change how physicians and nurses interact with the EHR and subsequently open the door to our true goal — giving patients more time to spend with their providers.
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