Since its inception, the healthcare industry has been constantly working to solve key universal challenges: How can we streamline and increase the effectiveness of communication and information exchange? How can we ensure that patients are fully engaged in their treatment? How can we track and measure outcomes to optimize current and future care?
As we progress into the digital age, technology is an increasingly viable modality for bridging these critical gaps. In all realms of the industry, we see rapidly evolving systems, networks, tools, and resources that challenge the status quo and change the way we perceive healthcare.
These groundbreaking developments are signaling a new frontier of technology in healthcare, where patients and their providers are more connected than ever. The result: better care and enhanced outcomes.
The Evolving Needs of Today’s Patient
As technology becomes an intricately woven part of our everyday lives, using technology to deliver healthcare isn’t just a luxury – it’s a necessity.
A study from EMC surveyed 236 health leaders across 18 countries. The respondents reported that more than half of their organization’s patients wanted faster access to their services. Additionally, 45 percent wanted constant connectivity and access, 42 percent wanted to access on more devices, and 47 percent wanted “personalized” experiences.
The survey also identified key areas that healthcare leaders need to cater to during this shift to digitally-enhanced care, including demonstration of transparency and trust, delivering unique experiences for each patient, and striving to operate 24/7 in “real-time” through digital tools like mHealth, telemedicine, and adherence tools.
How Mobile Changes the Game
One of the biggest impactors of patient connectivity is the ability to communicate and access information on-the-go with mobile devices. Mobile healthcare, commonly called mHealth, has opened a limitless world of capabilities, such as:
- Medication adherence and tracking available in the form of text messaging programs or smartphone apps, including the Medisafe Pill Reminder & Medication Tracker, AlarMeds, and My Heart My Life.
- Disease management through apps geared toward specific conditions, like apps that help with diabetes and heart disease, as well as managing symptoms and care coordination for cancer
- Patient education, with tools like digital encyclopedias and databases, to help with drug research and common questions patients might have about their condition and treatment.
- Patient-physician communication via apps that provide personal health information documentation and secure messaging. Some apps like DrawMD fill unique needs, like the ability for a surgeon to visually explain medical procedures.
This list just scratches the surface. Mobile health continues to grow, evolve, and simplify the way that patients can seamlessly integrate managing their health into their daily lives.
Unique Care for Unique Patients
Medical research continues to drive home the conclusion that personalized care leads to better outcomes. For example, personal health records (PHRs) are special portals through which providers can give patients access to their health information, with the ability to maintain and manage it in a secure, private, and confidential manner.
When patients are equipped with full access to their medical information – coupled with tools to communicate with care providers and learn about their conditions and treatments, all while accessing the information on their own time and at their own pace – they become more involved in the care process. These technological advancements are slowly eliminating the discontinuity of information that has historically kept patients from fully embracing and engaging with their care plans and providers.
Evolving Tools for Providers
Naturally, providers are a critical component of the patient connectivity formula. As health technology grows, providers must stay on the cutting-edge to be able to harness, digest, and incorporate important information and tools into their patients’ care plans.
For specialty pharmacies, therapy management platforms like TherigySTM help to guide, track, and record patient communication as patients progress through the care continuum. This, in turn, enables organizations to maximize personalization while ensuring that all compliance and operational needs are met.
Contact Therigy for a demo to learn more about how TherigySTM can aid your pharmacy’s quest for optimized patient connectivity and enhanced outcomes.