Archive for the ‘Telehealth & Telemedicine’ Category

6 Criteria for Evaluating Vendor Partners for Remote Patient Monitoring

April 22nd, 2014 by Patricia Donovan

Just as there are guidelines for identifying individuals most likely to benefit from remote monitoring, healthcare organizations must also choose remote monitoring vendor partners with care, advises Gail Miller, vice president of telephonic clinical operations in Humana's care management organization, Humana Cares/SeniorBridge, who shared lessons gleaned from vendor selection for Humana's nine separate pilots of remote patient monitoring.

I want to share how Humana chose the partners that we work with in these programs, because there are so many potential vendors to work with in the remote monitoring space. We had been evaluating companies off and on for about a year. We ended up doing a request for information (RFI) process with the top 25 we had identified internally. They weren't necessarily the biggest vendors or the companies with the strongest balance sheet, but rather those that met the different capability criteria we were looking for and possessed the flexibility and creativity to work with us.

Some think that it’s a good idea to warn people when you’re going to be working with a large entity like Humana, so that the companies we choose are prepared to deal with our procurement and legal processes, and understand it will take some resources on their side. Since the change to the HIPAA rule in 2013 there iss more downstream liability, so we require additional business liability insurance, and our business information agreements are quite stiff. All of those things must be worked through before we can work with a vendor.

We were also looking for companies that could be easily scalable. You could have a great piece of equipment, but if it’s going to take ten months or a year to procure another thousand, that’s not going to work for us because we have to be thinking on a national basis. We also were looking for vendors willing to work with members with various home situations. We did not want to exclude anybody from our pilot.

For example, some of the equipment we looked at would only run if there were broadband in the home. We needed someone to put some type of device that they could plug in, that would help boost them or create a 4G or 3G network wherever they were. We needed to adapt to the different home situations that our individuals lived in.

Then, the equipment had to be senior friendly. We learned a lesson from a great study with Intel about three years ago. The results had some positives and some negatives, but one thing we learned was that the size of the equipment was important. At that time, the piece of equipment we were using weighed about 37 pounds. Because of the frail nature of some of our members, we had to hire an intermediary to do setup and delivery and then package it up and send it back afterward. It created a lot of extra cost and a little more confusion trying to arrange those deliveries and pickups.

One thing that we are dedicated to doing this time is making sure that whatever equipment we had in the home that we could manage it easily, and that hopefully the senior themselves or their caregiver would be able to set it up.

Excerpted from: Remote Patient Monitoring for Enhanced Care Coordination: Technology to Manage an Aging Population

Infographic: The Growing Industry, Effects of mHealth

April 11th, 2014 by Jackie Lyons

mHealth is currently a $1.3 billion industry that is expected to reach $20 billion by 2018, according to a new infographic from Mobile Future and Infield Health.

This infographic shows savings attributed to remote patient monitoring and medication adherence resulting from mHealth. It also assesses how mobile tools are transforming healthcare as more Americans, including healthcare providers, adopt mobile devices and wireless connectivity, and more.

Learn more about mHealth in 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Mobile Health, which delivers a snapshot of mHealth trends, including current and planned mHealth initiatives, types and purpose of mHealth interventions, targeted populations and health conditions, and challenges, impact and results from mHealth efforts. This 50-page resource provides selected metrics on the use of mHealth for medication adherence, health coaching and population health management programs.

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Infographic: Technology Poised to Change Future of Nursing

April 4th, 2014 by Jackie Lyons

Healthcare reform is not the only change that will affect the nursing profession, evolving technology is likely to alter the future of nursing as well.

Among emerging healthcare technologies is barcode medication administration, which allows medications to be scanned before being administered. This enables nurses to check that the medication is correct, for the right patient and in the right dosage, according to a new infographic from Norwich University Online.

This infographic outlines other technologies that will change the nursing industry in years ahead, as well as how healthcare reform and education will affect the nursing profession.

Looking for other ways to increase medication adherence? You may also be interested in 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Improving Medication Adherence. This 56-page resource provides actionable information from more than 100 healthcare organizations on efforts to improve medication adherence and compliance in their populations.

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9 Remote Monitoring Technologies Enhance Telephonic Care Management

April 2nd, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

From home sensors that monitor daily motion and sleep abnormalities, to video visits using teleconferencing, Humana is doing its best to ensure that the frail elderly can remain at home as long as possible.

When integrated with a telephonic care management program, these remote monitoring technologies have helped Humana to avert medical emergencies and preventable hospitalizations among individuals with serious medical and functional challenges, says Gail Miller, vice president of telephonic clinical operations in Humana's care management organization, Humana Cares/SeniorBridge. The pilots are part of a continuum of care aimed at improving health outcomes, increasing satisfaction and reducing overall healthcare costs with a more holistic approach.

Most Americans are living longer, and suffering fewer deaths from acute illness, Miller said in a recent Healthcare Intelligence Network webinar, Integrating Mobile Health Remote Patient Monitoring with Telephonic Care Management for Improved Care Coordination Results. But they are also developing more chronic illnesses and functional limitations, which are often the costliest to manage.

Despite their growing frailty, however, nine out of 10 Americans prefer to age at home, she continues. To help them live independently and age gracefully at home, Humana, which has over 30 years experience in the Medicare program, and over two and a half million Medicare advantage members, launched the Humana Chronic Care Program (HCCP). Targeting the members most in need, or the sickest 20 percent, which drive 75 percent of the company’s costs, the company implemented a series of nine healthcare remote monitoring pilots for individuals with congestive heart failure (CHF) and diabetes as well those with medication adherence problems. The pilots also target those with functional challenges that make activities of daily living (ADL) challenging.

“There is a clear need to look beyond disease and address functional limitations,” Miller says.

One of the pilots includes strategically placed home-based sensors that monitor ADL levels of those with functional impairment. Algorithms detect abnormalities in the patients’ activities, i.e. erratic sleeping behaviors or toileting patterns that can signal infections, which then generate alerts for recommended interventions.

Video visits include two way audio-video communications so that care managers can interact with their sickest members as an adjunct to home visits. Members are given tablets to use for face-to-face contact with their care manager, or to go over any educational materials their care managers or physician provides them.

Ranging from passive to active monitoring, all of the technologies are senior-friendly, and designed to help members manage their conditions, reduce hospitalizations and improve the patient/member experience, Miller says.

A mobile Personal Emergency Response System (PERS), for those that live alone or have limited caregiver support, has been the most popular, Miller says. Members are mailed a cellular device that can be activated manually by a button, or automatically via an accelerometer. Once turned on, the PERS device connects the member to clinically trained emergency support. Many patients have asked if they could extend their use of this particular device once the pilot was over, Miller says. She explains why:

Besides being a health issue, I think the device also speaks to the level of safety concerns that a lot of seniors who have multiple chronic conditions, and who live alone, have. They don’t want to necessarily reach out to their neighbors all the time. This provides them some peace of mind, which is the ultimate goal of the program.

Listen to an interview with Gail Miller of Humana Cares/SeniorBridge here.

What are your organization’s efforts in remote patient monitoring? Participate in our e-survey, 10 Questions on Remote Patient Monitoring, by April 22, 2014 and you will receive a free summary of survey results once it is compiled.

Infographic: Why Advanced WiFi Is Essential to Healthcare

March 26th, 2014 by Jackie Lyons

Inaccessibility to WiFi leads to a loss in time of almost 45 minutes per day at healthcare organizations, which results in a $1 million loss each year, according to a new infographic from Inspire WiFi.

This infographic illustrates why advanced WiFi connectivity is indispensable to organizations in the healthcare industry and how it mitigates the concerns related to the complexity of wireless.

You may also be interested in this related resource: 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Telemedicine . Telehealth's broad reach encompasses telemedicine — the use of telecommunications technology to deliver clinical diagnosis, services and patient consultations — as well as the exploding field of mobile health. This resource documents trends and metrics on current and planned telehealth and telemedicine initiatives and includes a year-over-year comparison of telehealth trends from 2009 to present.

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5 Population Health Tactics That Open the Door to Care Access

March 18th, 2014 by Patricia Donovan

remote patient monitoring

Remote patient monitoring is a phone call away.


Remote monitoring of patients, one of five Adventist Health approaches to improve access to care, can be as basic as a follow-up phone call or as high-tech as sensors placed around the home to monitor activities of daily living (ADL). Here, Elizabeth Miller, VP of care management at White Memorial Medical Center (part of Adventist Health), offers a set of population-based ideas to improve access to care.

First, consider embedding care professionals into the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). We do that for our highest risk patients. We embedded a nurse practitioner/social worker so that as the patients were on site, we talked to the primary care in the medical foundation to schedule their high-risk patients, the ones that we are going to population health-manage. We will embed our staff and come to you two days a week.

Second, consider home visits for homebound patients, although those are very intensive. I’ve done home visits; it takes about an hour and a half per patient.

Another option to consider is group settings; you may be able to reach out in your community and have group settings for the purpose of population health management. Also, consider going to a physician’s office for group settings.

There is also telehealth and monitoring from a distance. I can tell you that it doesn’t always go as well as face-to-face visits because sometimes some things are lost without the face-to-face. It is my personal preference to meet face-to-face, but we do monitor from a distance. A lot of this is just telephone calling to follow up.

We also send reminders. We phone to remind them of appointments; you can also send them letters or employ text messaging. It depends on your population and how savvy they are with social media and tools.

Excerpted from Population Health Framework: 27 Strategies to Drive Engagement, Access and Risk Stratification.

Readers, what do you think? Could remote monitoring extend care for the population you serve? Share your comments here, or Tweet questions @H_I_N and we'll try to get them answered during this week's webinar on Humana's remote patient monitoring with telephonic case management to improve care coordination.

Infographic: Is the Future of Mental Health Online?

March 14th, 2014 by Jackie Lyons

The most common reason for not getting mental health (mHealth) treatment as cited by 39 percent of people is that it is too expensive, according to a new infographic from BestCounselingDegrees.net.

This infographic looks at a possible alternative to the traditional face-to-face therapy. It outlines the history and types of online mhealth treatment, as well as the pros, cons, challenges and examples of this growing trend.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Illness Management and Recovery (IMR): Personalized Skills and Strategies for those with Mental Illness. This 131-page resource helps people with severe mental illness identify personally meaningful goals and work to achieve these goals by addressing smaller, more manageable segments of those goals.


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Infographic: New Mobile Health Technology in 2024

February 28th, 2014 by Jackie Lyons

Technology is evolving at a fast pace, and healthcare is evolving with it. In 2024, mobile health (mHealth) technology will include contact lenses that monitor symptoms of diabetes, socks that track movement and monitor weight, and much more, according to a new infographic from BUPA.

This infographic looks at nine mHealth technologies that will monitor patients and aid in health management by 2024.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Integrating Mobile Health Remote Patient Monitoring with Telephonic Care Management for Improved Care Coordination Results. Want to know more about mHealth? During a March 19th webinar at 1:30 p.m. Eastern, Gail Miller, vice president of telephonic clinical operations in Humana's care management organization, Humana Cares/SeniorBridge, will share details of Humana's telephonic care management program and how these remote monitoring pilots will enhance their care coordination efforts.


Get the latest healthcare infographics delivered to your e-inbox with Eye on Infographics, a bi-weekly, e-newsletter digest of visual healthcare data. Click here to sign up today.

Have an infographic you'd like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Infographic: 7 Reasons to Engage With Patients Before Their Appointments

February 26th, 2014 by Jackie Lyons

The need to engage patients by preparing them before their appointments is rapidly growing. Positives include efficiency and increased patient satisfaction due to less manual data entry and shorter patient wait times among other benefits, according to a new infographic from Leading Reach.

This infographic provides the top seven reasons to engage with patients before their appointments and 10 examples of information that can be sent to patients before their appointment to ensure satisfaction.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Healthcare Innovation in Action: 19 Transformative Trends. Need more ways to increase patient satisfaction? This 40-page resource examines a set of pioneering efforts supporting the industry's seismic shift from a volume-based culture to one rewarding value and patient-centeredness.


Get the latest healthcare infographics delivered to your e-inbox with Eye on Infographics, a bi-weekly, e-newsletter digest of visual healthcare data. Click here to sign up today.

Have an infographic you'd like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Technology Reshaping Behavior Change Business

February 25th, 2014 by Patricia Donovan

Technology, particularly mobile health, is reshaping the delivery of health coaching, as revealed by these select metrics from the 2013 Health Coaching survey conducted by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

The prevalence of health coaching has climbed steadily in the last five years—from 60 percent five years ago to 75 percent today. Incentives to participate in health coaching are more plentiful, too, although participants have to do more than just sign up. Today’s trend is to hold the reward until the health goal is attained.

Technology, particularly mobile health, is reshaping coaching delivery. Telephonic coaching is still the most common coaching modality, but not as common as it was in 2008, when 86 percent of respondents reported the use of telephonic coaching. This year, that figure is 75 percent. Meanwhile, the use of smartphone coaching apps has nearly tripled in the last 12 months, from 4 percent in 2012 to 12 percent this year. Text messaging is up more than 50 percent, too, with 14 percent of respondents incorporating texting in their coaching programs.

health coaching technology
The effect of all of this technology? It remains to be seen. What we do know is that face-to-face coaching interactions are waning, down from 70 percent in 2010 to 59 percent in 2013, as are group coaching visits, which are now conducted by only 28 percent of respondents, versus 40 percent last year.

One constant: motivational interviewing remains the behavior change tool of choice. However, this year’s survey identified a near doubling in use of the Patient Activation Measure® to evaluate participants’ progress, from 10 to 18 percent. Interest in positive psychology has dropped steadily in the last five years, from 48 percent in 2008 to 26 percent this year.

Excerpted from: 57 Population Health Management Metrics: Assessing Risk to Maximize Reimbursement