Posts Tagged ‘health outcomes’

3 Crucial Factors to Consider before Designing an mHealth App

May 19th, 2021 by Rahul Varshneya

Mobile health (often referred to as mHealth) is all the rave in healthcare right now. According to one recent statistical data piece compiled by Health IT Outcomes, close to 93 percent of physicians believe that mobile health apps can improve patients’ health.

Therefore, healthcare organizations looking to formulate an mHealth strategy are likely to consider mobile apps the right place to start delivering improved patient experience and services. Rightly so, the adoption of these apps can be highly beneficial for both the provider as well as consumers.

However, with the amount of options available in the marketplace today, designing and developing an mHealth app that can attract customers for its uniqueness has become a huge challenge for healthcare providers. Having a carefully designed and well-functioning app simply isn’t enough. It also needs to sustain amid the rising competition.

There are a few crucial factors that providers should keep in mind before getting an mHealth app developed.

  1. Know the Pain Points and Needs of your Target Audience

    The key to successful mhealth app design lies in knowing how and why users will want to use the app, knowing customer pain points and then designing in a way that you can solve their problems.

    Therefore, before healthcare organizations develop an mHealth app should identify their customers’ pain points and how their problems can be solved, and then figure out why an mHealth app would be the best way to solve it.

    Once an assessment of the requirements are completed and an mHealth app would fulfill those requirements, the next step is to determine the target group (for example, General Health and Fitness Apps, Chronic Care Management, Diabetes Management Apps, Medication Management Apps, Personal Health Record (PHR) Apps, Professional Medical Applications, etc.) and then include features that truly meet the needs of that particular group.

    Dr Vinati Kamani, dentist turned healthcare author, in one of her recent articles explains how keeping end users in mind is the ultimate goal when it comes to developing mHealth apps: “It is extremely critical to collect all necessary data concerning usage, understand what all the stakeholders interested in the app might be looking for, and use the acquired information throughout the development lifecycle. One best practice is to involve practicing healthcare providers, specialized in the area your app will be servicing in, to assess the key issues the app will resolve for the users and to develop the functionality that will be most usable for your audience.”

    Healthcare providers can also develop a custom application rather than an off the shelf solution. In this way, features that aren’t absolutely required or don’t add value to the app can be left out; you get a solution that does both – meets the needs of your target audience and is cost-effective for you.

  2. Designing for Scalability, Simplicity and Sustainability

    The next crucial consideration deals with optimizing the app to be as simple, scalable, and easy to use as possible.

    To begin with, the registration/sign-in process should be hassle-free and shouldn’t demand much of the user’s time or effort. One best practice would be to avoid employing too many clicks and screens for performing these actions. You can provide the option of additional verifications when the app hasn’t been actively used for quite some time.

    Then again, it would be a useful add-on to make information on your app easily retrievable in the event of an emergency. For instance, quick access to useful information such as placing the doctor’s phone number and information about nearby clinics on the homepage of the app itself can help the patient retrieve such crucial data without having to log in during an emergency.

    Try balancing options out in a way that depicts that all scenarios have been taken into consideration.

    Another best practice would be to integrate the platform with a dedicated cloud server to make the platform more interoperable for both end users and care providers. Cloud platforms also provide the option to encrypt the confidential information within the mHealth app to ensure it isn’t accessed during data breaches or misused by a hacker.

    Ensure that the content on the various pages of the mHealth app is uniform, identical and easy to read, and the layout of these pages is equally appealing for the users. Also, try to keep the alignment and spacing uniform throughout. Users usually favor pages that have soothing themes and colors. Don’t go overboard with design.

    mHealth apps should keep in mind the app’s target audience at all times, especially when designing it for the end user. For instance, older people might need bigger icons and larger text, and people with certain health conditions might need an app that does not attract gawkers.

    Trying to make the app as scalable and sustainable as possible may seem like a lot of work in the beginning, but it will pay off by retaining users and keeping them coming back for more in the long run.

  3. Taking a Second Opinion from Compliance Experts

    When getting an mHealth app developed, it’s crucial to understand the different types of data and information that fall under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The first thing is to discern whether the mHealth app is going to collect, store, or transmit protected health information (PHI) at any given point in time. PHI comprises sensitive patient information regulated by HIPAA.

    An mHealth app that handles PHI needs to remain HIPAA compliant at all times. In addition, mHealth apps that exchange information with covered entities for medical reasons, also need to be HIPAA compliant.

    To make sure the mHealth app remains HIPAA compliant, adhere to these 4 rules:

    • Privacy Rule
    • Security Rule
    • Enforcement Rule
    • Breach notification Rule

    To create a secure app that’s fully HIPAA compliant, using reliable providers, a set of technical tools like libraries and third-party services isn’t enough. Not only does the data have to be encrypted in the mHealth app, but the data also can’t be accessed if the server or device is physically compromised.

    Remember to assess how much information the app actually needs to operate and bring value to the user. HIPAA compliant apps don’t collect any information that isn’t necessary; if yours does, you’ll be spending resources on protecting information you don’t actually need.

When the consumer is kept at the apex of every decision while developing an app, the app will truly contribute toward increasing the bottom line of healthcare organizations and fortify customer relationships.

About the Author:
Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder and president of Arkenea, a digital health consulting firm. Mr. Varshneya has been featured as a technology thought leader across Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.

Infographic: The Path to Better Health

August 23rd, 2019 by Melanie Matthews

Consumers and providers alike say they need a health system that’s local, more digital and focused on achieving better outcomes for chronic conditions, according to a new infographic by CVS Health.

The infographic examines how chronic health conditions are motivating consumers to set health goals.

Three Pillars of Health Coaching: Patient Activation, Motivational Interviewing and Positive Psychology provides the fundamentals of three essential tools that health coaches can use to measure and monitor activation levels, elicit behavior change, move clients along the path to self-management and have a positive impact on health outcomes and utilization.

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Infographic: The Journey to Population Wellness

May 21st, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Population health has become a puzzle of processes and technologies to improve health outcomes, enhance the physician-patient experience, and reduce costs. The healthcare industry must work together to chart a path toward interoperability, analytics and care tools that will impact the future of population health and wellness, according to a new infographic by Transcend Insights.

The infographic helps convey this journey in alignment with key findings from a Healthcare Financial Management Association executive survey on population health.

Care Coordination in an ACO: Population Health Management from Wellness to End-of-LifeWhen acknowledging its position as a top-ranking Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), Memorial Hermann is quick to credit its own physicians—who in 2007 lobbied for a clinically integrated network that formed the foundation of the current Memorial Hermann accountable care organization (ACO). Now, collaboration and integration continue to be the engines driving the ACO’s cost savings, reduced utilization and healthy patient engagement rates associated with Memorial Hermann ACO’s highest-risk population.

Care Coordination in an ACO: Population Health Management from Wellness to End-of-Life details Memorial Hermann’s carefully executed journey to quality and the culmination of the ACO’s community-based care management program.

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Infographic: Big Data Healthcare Trends Will Improve Outcomes

May 14th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Improved technology will play a pivotal role in the collection and analysis of big data for healthcare facilities. Healthcare providers will have access to large data sets to help improve their patients’ overall well-being, according to a new infographic by Compliant Healthcare Technologies.

The infographic examines how big data analytics will drive healthcare forward.

Predictive Healthcare Analytics: Four Pillars for SuccessWith an increasing percentage of at-risk healthcare payments, the Allina Health System’s Minneapolis Heart Institute began to drill down on the reasons for clinical variations among its cardiovascular patients. The Heart Institute’s Center for Healthcare Delivery Innovation, charged with analyzing and reducing unnecessary clinical variation, has saved over $155 million by reducing this unnecessary clinical variation through its predictive analytics programs.

During Predictive Healthcare Analytics: Four Pillars for Success, a 45-minute webinar on March 29th now available for replay, Pam Rush, cardiovascular clinical service line program director at Allina Health, and Dr. Steven Bradley, cardiologist, Minneapolis Heart Institute (MHI) and associate director, MHI Healthcare Delivery Innovation Center, shared their organization’s four pillars of predictive analytics success…addressing population health issues, reducing clinical variation, testing new processes and leveraging an enterprise data warehouse. Click here for more information.

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Infographic: Impact of Diagnostics on Healthcare Outcomes

April 20th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Diagnostic testing plays a key role in reducing hospitalizations, preventing infections, and improving healthcare outcomes, according to a new infographic by Health Industry Distributors Association.

The infographic explores the impact of diagnostic testing on healthcare utilization, infections, adverse health events, patient satisfaction and healthcare costs.

Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2018: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare IndustryHealthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2018: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry, HIN’s 14th annual business forecast, is designed to support healthcare C-suite planning as leaders react to presidential priorities and seek new strategies for engaging providers, patients and health plan members in value-based care.

HIN’s highly anticipated annual strategic playbook opens with perspectives from industry thought leader Brian Sanderson, managing principal, healthcare services, Crowe Horwath, who outlines a roadmap to healthcare provider success by examining the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing providers in the year to come. Following Sanderson’s outlook is guidance for healthcare payors from David Buchanan, president, Buchanan Strategies, on navigating seven hot button areas for insurers, from the future of Obamacare to the changing face of telehealth to the surprising role grocery stores might one day play in healthcare delivery. Click here for more information.

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Infographic: How Nursing Leadership Styles Can Impact Patient Outcomes

February 2nd, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Transformational nursing leadership is associated with reductions in medication errors, lower patient mortalities, increased patient satisfaction and lower staff turnover, according to a new infographic by Bradley University.

The infographic examines five nursing leadership styles and their impact on patient outcomes.

UnityPoint Health has moved from a siloed approach to improving the patient experience at each of its locations to a system-wide approach that encompasses a consistent, baseline experience while still allowing for each institution to address its specific needs.

Armed with data from its Press Ganey and CAHPS® Hospital Survey scores, UnityPoint’s patient experience team developed a front-line staff-driven improvement action plan.

Improving the Patient Experience: Engaging Front-line Staff for a System-Wide Action Plan, a 45-minute webinar on July 27th, now available for replay, Paige Moore, director, patient experience at UnityPoint Health—Des Moines, shares how the organization switched from a top-down, leadership-driven patient experience improvement approach to one that engages front-line staff to own the process.

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Infographic: Health Outcomes Analytics: Opportunities and Gaps

December 2nd, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Analyzing patients’ health outcomes is a major step on the way to improving them. A variety of equally reputable sources provides different views, angles and approaches to both measurement and analysis, according to a new infographic by ScienceSoft.

The infographic examines the opportunities and gaps in healthcare data analytics on patients’ outcomes.

Health Outcomes Analytics: Opportunities and Gaps

Health Analytics in Accountable Care: Leveraging Data to Transform ACO Performance and Results Between Medicare’s aggressive migration to value-based payment models and MACRA’s 2017 Quality Payment Program rollout, healthcare providers must accept the inevitability of participation in fee-for-quality reimbursement design—as well as cultivating a grounding in health data analytics to enhance success.

As an early adopter of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and the largest sponsor of MSSP accountable care organizations (ACOs), Collaborative Health Systems (CHS) is uniquely positioned to advise providers on the benefits of data analytics and technology, which CHS views as a major driver in its achievements in the MSSP arena. In performance year 2014, nine of CHS’s 24 MSSP ACOs generated savings and received payments of almost $27 million.

Health Analytics in Accountable Care: Leveraging Data to Transform ACO Performance and Results documents the accomplishments of CHS’s 24 ACOs under the MSSP program, the crucial role of data analytics in CHS operations, and the many lessons learned as an early trailblazer in value-based care delivery.

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Infographic: Improving Outcomes With Health Data Analytics

December 11th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

The cost of healthcare in the United States continues to rise. In 2015, costs are projected to rise by 5.3 percent to a per capita cost of $9,695, according to a new infographic by the Government Business Council.

The infographic examines the factors that are driving up U.S. healthcare costs and how big data analytics can help to control costs and improve the quality of care.

While widespread adoption of electronic health records has generated new streams of actionable patient data, John C. Lincoln has taken data mining to new levels to enhance performance of its accountable care organization (ACO).

Beyond the EMR: Mining Population Health Analytics to Elevate Accountable Care reviews the concentrated data dig undertaken by John C. Lincoln to prepare for participation in the CMS Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP).

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Risk Stratification Targets the High-Risk, Curbs Utilization Across Continuum

February 19th, 2015 by Cheryl Miller

Preventive care and utilizing hospital and discharge information are critical for stratification, say a number of thought leaders from organizations like Humana, Adventist Health, Taconic Professional Resources, Monarch Healthcare (a Pioneer ACO), and often lead to improved clinical and financial outcomes. Here, some advice from these thought leaders.

Across the healthcare continuum, improved clinical and financial outcomes at organizations like Humana, Adventist Health, Taconic Professional Resources, Monarch Healthcare (a Pioneer ACO), and Ochsner Health System were preceded by rigorous risk stratification of populations served.

“Humana encourages preventive care, and we are trying to prevent the most costly interventions by making sure we address things before they become big problems,” notes Gail Miller, vice president of telephonic clinical operations in Humana’s care management organization, Humana Cares/SeniorBridge. “It is successful so far. We have been able to reduce hospitalizations from what we expected by about 42 percent. We have been able to decrease our hospital readmission rate to 11 percent.”

Hospital admission and discharge information is critical for stratification, adds Annette Watson, RN-BC, CCM, MBA, senior vice president of community transformation for Taconic Professional Resources. “Depending on the model in a primary care practice (PCP), if a physician is not the admitting physician—if the admission is from a specialist, hospitalist, or through the ER—it cannot be assumed the PCP has the admission and discharge information. People may think physicians know about their patients being in the hospital, but that is not always the case.”

“Our first step in launching Monarch’s Pioneer ACO program was to develop a population disease profile in risk stratification analysis,” contributes Colin LeClair, executive director of accountable care at Monarch HealthCare. “With the help of Optum Actuarial Solutions, we identified the eight most prevalent and costly conditions in our population. We then identified the largest cohort of high-risk patients best suited for Monarch’s care management programs. Ultimately we isolated the top 6 percent of high-risk patients with a diagnosis of diabetes, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or renal disease and found that of those patients, 6 percent account for 43 percent of total medical cost across the entire population. That analysis resulted in us targeting about 1,200 high-risk patients who have a similar constellation of issues.”

“You want to look at your high utilizers of care, because they’re using a great deal of care,” concludes Elizabeth Miller, RN, MSN, vice president of care management at White Memorial Medical Center, part of Adventist Health. “There’s potential for decreasing procedures, tests, ED visits, hospitalizations.”

Source: 2014 Healthcare Benchmarks: Stratifying High-Risk Patients

http://hin.3dcartstores.com/2014-Healthcare-Benchmarks-Reducing-Hospital-Readmissions_p_4786.html

2014 Healthcare Benchmarks: Stratifying High-Risk Patients captures the tools and practices employed by dozens of organizations in this prerequisite for care management and jumping-off point for population health improvement—data analytics that will ultimately enhance quality ratings and improve reimbursement in the industry’s value-focused climate.