March 27, 2017

How mHealth can improve patient engagement

Medication Management

We’ve written blog posts on the growth of mHealth apps, but what about the role of apps and patient portals in patient engagement? The growth of mobile health apps and patient portals has allowed patients to monitor and access care in a way that is convenient to them. In other words, we’re now seeing a growing trend in remote patient monitoring as apps and wearables have become more easily available. mHealth apps are now being used as a platform for engagement outside of face to face primary point of care.

Patient engagement focuses on improving health outcomes through informed decision making and behaviours by both the patients and healthcare providers. As most of the technology is consumer facing, mhHealth is now seen as an important aspect for patient engagement. Apps provide health data access which physicians believe aids in the patients understanding of their health and treatment plans. Patient health data access can be accomplished via patient health portals that are compatible with computers, different mobile devices and personal health records so that patients can now aggregate their own health data. Furthermore, Patient portals are becoming more common in medical settings as they provide many benefits. Firstly, a patient portal takes away from having to fill out numerous forms prior to a meeting. The information is readily available and on hand for both the patient and doctor. Not only does having  patients engaged in their health lead to better health outcomes, costs are reduced as EHR systems improve workflow through use of shared information. The decreasing need for paperwork results in more accurate information. Increased communication as the use of technology physicians and patients can communicate with each other to provide updates and changes on the patient’s condition.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2015 survey suggested that healthcare organisations are widely beginning to use mobile technologies with the aim of engaging patients within their organisations.  Many respondents indicated that there was a need to leverage and optimise the wide range of capabilities that mobile technologies and platforms provide. The report found that organisations are now beginning to measure how mobile technology impact patient care delivery. The most common form of engagement given by respondents was to engage with their patients via app-enabled portals. Furthermore, more than half of the respondents in the survey had indicated that they would leverage technology in order to better coordinate or impact patient care. Similar Surveys are now examining how healthcare organisations use mobile technology to support access on a day to day basis.

Patient engagement is changing in healthcare. The growth of mHealth apps and patient portals has seen an increase in remote patient monitoring. Not only can physicians benefit from mHealth apps, patients can now access their own health data leading to better knowledge of treatment plans and their individual conditions. With Medsmart you can make smarter decisions about medicines and manage all your medicines in one secure place.