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Novartis launches digital health innovation lab the Novartis Biome #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth #pharma


Novartis has launched a digital health innovation lab network named the Novartis Biome to accelerate its digital evolution.

The Swiss pharma company will also run a series of open innovation initiatives it says are designed to provide an ‘on-ramp’ for start-ups that wish to work with it.

The Novartis Biome, whose first digital health innovation lab is based in San Francisco, has been co-founded by its head Mohanad Fors, head of open innovation Shwen Gwee and head of innovation and strategy Robin Roberts.

Novartis Biome Robin RobertsRoberts (pictured) said: “The idea is to give the health tech ecosystem a boost and clear ‘on-ramp’ to work with Novartis.

“It’s clear to anyone who works in digital health that the vast majority of disruptive technologies are not going to come from big pharma companies. But we can engage and work with startups and innovators, and together make something bold, sustainable and scalable.”

The company hopes to fill what it sees as a gap in the current ecosystem, whereby “nascent technologies are not typically supported and shaped by the companies that can ultimately harness them”.

The Novartis Biome by proactively scouting for technology, seeking referrals and issuing challenges through an initiative called the HealthX World Series. The first of this series of global, open innovation challenges took place last month in San Francisco at TechCrunch Disrupt SF.
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#Pharma, Life Science Leaders Face Big Data Analytics Challenges #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Pharmaceutical and life science companies are staring down major challenges as value-based care alters the healthcare landscape, but those that are further along in their digital transformations are also more likely to embrace innovation and creative thinking about common business problems, according to a new survey by Deloitte and MIT.

Organizations that have more mature big data analytics and digital engagement skills are tend to have leaders that embrace change and staff members who are willing to get on board with new initiatives, positioning them well for exponential growth.

However, many organizations are failing to translate their recognition of the need for digital strategies into real-world adoption, leaving them at risk of falling behind their peers in a highly competitive environment.

“Biopharma leaders know that if they don't embrace digital transformation they will be surpassed by more agile competitors,” said Greg Reh, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and US and global life sciences leader.

“But transformation can pose some cultural challenges that slow the pace of change. The good news is that their mindsets are shifting toward greater digital experimentation, collaboration, and innovation.”

The international survey of biopharma leaders revealed that more than 75 percent of companies are still in the early phases of digital development, with 25 percent placing themselves on the lowest rung of adoption and 55 percent stating that they are “developing their capabilities.”

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The First FDA-approved Digital Pill — What It Means for Pharma | FiercePharma #hcsmeufr #esante


The FDA recently approved a digital pill that tracks whether a patient has taken it. Learn how it works — and how it could transform patient-centered care.
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What The Hell Is Blockchain And What Does It Mean For Healthcare And Pharma?


Don Tapscott, author of the book entitled Blockchain Revolution said in his superb, no-frills TED Talk that blockchain is the technology that is likely to have the greatest impact on the next few decades. No, it’s not social media. No, it’s not big data, not robotics, not even artificial intelligence. It’s the technology behind the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

Stop there for a moment. So, blockchain will have more transformative power on our lives than Facebook, Instagram and Donald Trump using Twitter for diplomacy? How? Why? When? Is that true or is it another bubble shaping up in front of our eyes?

When looking at how fast companies in various industries are adopting blockchain, the latter question is certainly worth considering. According to Transparency Market Research, the global blockchain technology market is expected to be worth $20 billion(!!) by the end of 2024 as compared to $315.9 million in 2015. The overall market is anticipated to exhibit a 58.7 percent annual growth between 2016 and 2024. Moving faster than Elon Musk’s red Tesla Roadster in space. And the drivers of this massive expansion are innovators, start-ups, bold companies in finance, retail and manufacturing, government – and healthcare.

Due to blockchain’s ties to cryptocurrencies, most people believe that the financial system will adopt the technology soonest, but healthcare’s speed of leveraging blockchain seems to actually surpass it. A new IBM Institute for Business Value blockchain study, Healthcare Rallies for Blockchain, surveyed 200 healthcare executives in 16 countries. They found that 16 percent aren’t just experimenting; they expect to have a commercial blockchain solution at scale in 2017. Moreover, according to IBM’s estimation, another 56 percent will follow the first adopters until 2020. That means within 2 years!

Thus, it is high time to have a look at how and why the technology behind Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency in a great part powering criminals trading on the darknet could become the cornerstone of future healthcare. More briefly, let’s see what the hell blockchain is!

Blockchain is the new word for trust online

On the Internet, nobody knows that you’re a dog. Although Peter Steiner’s cartoon drawn for The New Yorker in 1993 is mostly associated with the issue of anonymity on the Internet, it highlights deeper problems in relation to trust, credibility, security, and privacy. In the era of fake news and online scam, it does not come as a surprise to anyone that it is difficult to secure information, communication processes or trade online. And it is especially important in case of such sensitive information as money or healthcare data.

In case of money, trust and credibility have long been established by central intermediaries, such as banks, and other types of middlemen. You transfer money via your online bank account knowing its safe and secure because you trust the financial institution behind it. And in the case of online transactions, there has been another problem for which trustworthy intermediaries have meant the solution for years. The problem of duplications. When you send an e-mail with an attached cat photo, the image will automatically be copied. So, how do you make sure that doesn’t happen with your money? That the well-earned dollars that you spend on books will actually disappear from your bank account and appear on Amazon’s. In the case of digital assets like money, stocks or intellectual property, not to speak about electronic health records, authentication and accountability are key elements.

Still, middlemen such as banks are too slow. And too expensive. While an e-mail arrives in seconds in another person’s mailbox, an international transfer could take several days, even weeks. And it is not even that secure, as it could be hacked more easily due to the banks’ centralized nature. As a response to all these issues, Satoshi Nakamoto, a mysterious Japanese programmer or a group, worked out the world’s first digital currency, Bitcoin and its underlying, supporting system, the blockchain. Since then, several types and modified versions of the technology appeared. As The Economist explained, blockchain enables an economy where trust is established not by central intermediaries but through consensus and complex computer code. It lets people who have no particular confidence in each other collaborate without having to go through a neutral central authority. Simply put, it is a machine for creating trust.

Blockchain is like a scarf knitted by your grandmother

The concept and the operation of the technology are rather difficult, but it is perhaps easier to imagine with a nicely-put metaphor by The New Yorker’s Nathan Heller. In his article about Estonia as a digital republic, he said that a blockchain is like the digital version of a scarf knitted by your grandmother. She uses one ball of yarn, and the result is continuous. Each stitch depends on the one just before it. It’s impossible to remove part of the fabric, or to substitute a swatch, without leaving some trace: a few telling knots, or a change in the knit.

When The Medical Futurist asked Ivo Lohmus from Guardtime, an Estonian company developing K.S.I. blockchain technology, he said it to imagine as a shared book of records, or in more technical terms, a distributed database, that’s designed in such a smart way that whatever is added to this database, that’s immutable. As if it’s carved into stone. Any change becomes immediately evident. Another aspect of the system is that there is no central authority to decide what’s right or wrong. The participants need to come to a consensus, to articulate some shared view of the world.

There are several methods for making a decision about a new entry based on the particular consensus, Medium’s Collin Thompson explains the proof of work process used by Bitcoin as the following: when a digital transaction is carried out, it is grouped together in a cryptographically protected block with other transactions that have occurred in the last 10 minutes and sent out to the entire network. Miners (members in the network with high levels of computing power) then compete to validate the transactions by solving complex coded problems. The first miner to solve the problems and validate the block receives a reward. The validated block of transactions is then timestamped and added to a chain in a chronological order.

New blocks of validated transactions are linked to older blocks, making a chain or blocks that show every transaction made in the history of that blockchain. The entire chain is continually updated so that every database in the network is the same, giving each member the ability to prove who owns what at any given time.

The benefits of blockchain

The technology has numerous benefits for online transactions, especially in the field of digital assets, such as health data. Blockchain’s time-sensitive nature allows any data to move around in that particular format only once in the network. The blocks are impossible to change; only new entries can be added to the network. This is critical in case of health data. Just imagine what might happen if someone could change a patient’s blood type in the health record system without anyone noticing it.

Moreover, Ivo Lohmus said that many times, as in the case of the K.S.I blockchain which is used for the Estonian medical records system, the blockchain does not directly deal with the data. Through the cryptographic process, a unique identifier of the data, a hash, is created, which functions similarly to the biological fingerprint. While you can identify anyone based on his or her fingerprint, you cannot “reconstruct” the whole person. And finally, as the blockchain is based on the consensus of network participants, access to data can be linked to permission.

Beyond ensuring authentication and credibility, blockchain also brings unprecedented security benefits. Hacking attacks that commonly impact large, centralized intermediaries like banks would be virtually impossible to pull off on the blockchain. For example — if someone wanted to hack into a particular block in a blockchain, a hacker would not only need to hack into that specific block, but all of the proceeding blocks going back the entire history of that blockchain. And they would need to do it on every ledger in the network, which could be millions, simultaneously.

Blockchain in healthcare – Long instead of big data

Blockchain has immense potential in healthcare. According to the IBM Institute for Business Value blockchain study, new adopters of the technology expect the greatest blockchain benefits across time, cost, and risk in three areas: clinical trial records, regulatory compliance, and medical/health records.

It is capable of transforming the entire system of medical records, just as Estonia already did. In March 2017, the Baltic country’s eHealth Authority has signed a deal with Guardtime to secure the health records of over a million Estonians. Patientory, a start-up helping hospitals to secure their patient data while enabling patients to follow the fate of their own data, has urged the British government “to get behind a blockchain-enabled national IT health system” at the time of the NHS ransomware attack. If there were political will and comprehensive financial support, other countries could also Estonia’s as well as Dubai’s lead. The latter has also started to test blockchain technology for securing its electronic medical records.

Due to its time-sensitive nature, blockchains shift the lens from disparate bits of information held by a single owner, to the lifetime history of an asset. Instead of big data, capturing long-term data becomes more easily possible. And that’s exactly why it is the perfect solution when we need to document a patient’s health record, to set up reliable vaccine registries or to secure the movement of drugs through the supply chain.

Blockchain in pharma

The issue of counterfeit medicines, as the dark side of networked markets and globalization, has become increasingly pressing, both in terms of the economic cost of this global black market and the risk to human lifethat comes from taking counterfeit drugs. In many developing countries in Asia, Africa, and South America, counterfeit drugs comprise between 10 percent and 30 percent of the total medicines on sale.

Cindy Greatrex, Vice President of The National Alliance of Research Associates Programs remarked that for combatting fake pharmaceuticals a solution needs to be employed that stops the counterfeits from contaminating the supply chain. The best solution is to track pharmaceuticals so that digital systems linked to medication moving in the physical world are established. This is important because when you have a unique digital reference to a drug and a physical copy of that drug, it is much harder to erase or duplicate one without the other.

Blockchain offers security through transparency. It might work as follows: barcode-tagged drugs could be scanned and entered into secure digital blocks whenever they change hands. This ongoing real-time record could be viewed anytime by authorized parties and even patients at the far end of the supply chain. This would make it much more difficult for criminal networks to sell their counterfeit drugs on the market.

However, the advantages of blockchain for pharma does not stop there. Drug developers running clinical trials might be able to share clinical data and medical samples more securely. And while blockchain underpins the digital currencies demanded in ransomware attacks, the technology could also play a role in securing sensitive industry data from malicious attack.

It’s clear that blockchain will have a massive impact on dealing with healthcare data. It’s also worth looking at news about blockchain differently than those related to Bitcoin. The blockchain is a technology, Bitcoin is a product of it. As it is going to be more and more widespread in the future, we’ll keep on writing about the many ways blockchain can support healthcare and pharma.

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Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals Joins Embleema Health Blockchain Consortium to Pilot Blockchain to Optimize Patient Engagement | Business Wire #hcsmeufr #esante


Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals joins Embleema Health Blockchain Consortium to Pilot Blockchain to Optimize Patient Engagement.
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Otsuka and Proteus sign 5-year, $88M digital pill partnership | FierceBiotech #hcsmeufr #esante


Otsuka and Proteus Digital Health have re-upped their global smart-tablet partnership for another five years, aiming to develop a new generation of ingestible sensors.
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The Top CROs in the United States - Contract Research Organization #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Contract Research Organization (CRO) provides all kinds of outsourced research services. Their offerings cover the entire gamut of R&D, starting from drug discovery to clinical trials and further.
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How big data can revolutionize pharmaceutical R&D | McKinsey


Pharmaceutical R&D suffers from declining success rates and a stagnant pipeline. Big data and the analytics that go with it could be a key element of the cure.
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Are the Right Drugs Getting Faster FDA Approval? | #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Leela Barham continues her series of features exploring expedited FDA approvals with a look at the therapy areas and the overlap with orphan drug designations.
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Janssen & Nouveal s'associent pour la télésurveillance en hématologie #esante #hcsmeufr


Janssen et Nouveal s’associent pour accompagner les services d’hématologie en déployant une solution de télésurveillance de l'hémopathie maligne.
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« L’industrie pharmaceutique assume seule l’effort » d’innovation dans le médicament #esante #hcsmeufr 


Jean-David Zeitoun, médecin, conteste dans une tribune au « Monde » les arguments de certains de ses collègues qui mettent en avant les profits trop élevés de l’industrie du médicament aux dépens de l’accès aux soins.
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Les défis du nouveau président du médicament, Philippe Tcheng #esante #hcsmeufr 


Philippe Tcheng vient d'accéder à la présidence du Leem. Pur produit Sanofi et grand connaisseur des négociations avec les pouvoirs publics, l'homme devrait s'inscrire dans la continuité de la politique du syndicat professionnel du médicament.
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In-Depth: How digital sensors could change the face of pharma #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Correction: An earlier version of this article was unclear about differences between Abilify MyCite and the Proteus Digital Medicine Platform. 
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Sandoz launches second digital health competition - PharmaTimes #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Novartis’ generics arm Sandoz has launched the second Healthcare Access Challenge (HACk), which is looking to support digital solutions to local healthcare access challenges. - News - PharmaTimes
Florian Morandeau's curator insight, October 5, 2:00 AM

Digital innovation could provide cost-effective and practical solutions with the power to transform access to healthcare.

Médicaments : qui fixe les prix récolte la pénurie #esante #hcsmeufr


Incroyable : la France connaîtrait des pénuries de médicaments !
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The State Of Customer Experience In European Pharma, 2017: Physician Interactions #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Fueled by digital innovation, industry forces are reshaping pharma’s customer base. As payers and providers move to value-based care and patients demand more control and choice, pharmaceutical firms need a new approach to meeting their needs. While rethinking the business using a customer experience (CX) mindset will give pharma companies the direction they need, only three companies received a Customer Experience Quotient (CXQ™) that shows they’ve mastered this approach. The others need to step up their CX transformation effort by expanding the role of design in their organization.
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Focus on social media -  General Pharmaceutical Council


Social media has become part of daily life for many of us and it can be a powerful way for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to collaborate with peers and colleagues, as well as patients and the public. But it can be challenging to use social media as a health professional.

Patients, colleagues, and employers expect health professionals to always behave professionally online, just as they would offline. But the boundaries between personal and professional use can often be blurred on social media, and it is easy for online comments to be copied and redistributed, and be taken out of context.

Advice from a leading healthcare journalist

We recognise that it can be difficult to manage the risks and make the most of the opportunities of social media. And it can be useful to get advice from someone who successfully uses social media as part of their role.
So we asked Shaun Lintern (@ShaunLintern), Patient Safety Correspondent at the Health Service Journal (the leading trade publication for healthcare leaders), to give his perspective on how health professionals can use social media successfully.  In his role at the Health Service Journal, Shaun regularly interacts with healthcare leaders, health professionals and patients via social media. Here’s Shaun’s advice:

Social media has revolutionised the way healthcare professionals, patients and others (including journalists) interact with each other. 

It is still a relatively new medium for people to communicate but one that has become pervasive in modern society. It has many faults and downsides but I am an unashamed enthusiast for social media use by clinicians. 

There is a lot of focus on social media encouraging people to live in a bubble, but in my experience, in healthcare, it can have the exact opposite effect.

Embrace the fact that other clinicians from different specialties may have a view on your work; patients may have a particular take on what you do and how it impacts them. 

You may find yourself confronted with uncomfortable views. Or challenged to justify why something is the way it is.

Initially this can seem daunting but there is great opportunity too. You might learn of a solution to a work problem that's evaded you or your team. Someone will have the journal article you need. A patient may be prepared to share their experiences to help you design services.

Social media doesn't have to be all about work either. In my own experience, people I have talked with about many issues have become friends, we've met up in the real world and continued the conversation.

One of them even became my girlfriend.

The key tip for social media is to be yourself. Don't fall into the trap of having a public persona you have to maintain. If you disagree with someone then be civil; even if they're not.

Make the most of the educational opportunities to learn and discuss issues with colleagues and to support each other where necessary.

Don’t be afraid of talking to patients. They're the experts you need to hear.

If you find yourself in the wild west of social media don't have to reply. The block button is there for a reason.

Guidance and supporting information

How Time-starved Physicians Prefer to Get Information – #esante #hcsmeufr


Doctors of all specialties are voracious information gatherers in their quest to “keep up” and better serve their patient populations. With so many media choices and content types, publishers and pharmaceutical marketers alike must be experts in understanding MD preferences in order to provide the information they want in the channel(s) and formats they prefer.

Frontline Medical Communications engaged with roughly 1,700 physicians in 16 specialties to find out more about their practice-related multi-media information consumption patterns, as well as future trends. We uncovered some big-picture takeaways—some of them a bit of a surprise—as well as considerable details at various levels: Specialty, age, channel/media source, and content type.

The Big Picture

  • Cardiologists are in a class by themselves in terms of multichannel utilization and willingness to try new modalities.
  • Hem-Oncs and neurologists (and, to a lesser degree, internal medicine specialists) are of a similar ilk, but are not quite as progressive as cardiologists. IMs are more like cardiologists than family practice docs in their content consumption patterns.
  • Emergency medicine physicians and general surgeons are outliers—with dermatologists close behind. All are less conventional and eager to try new media.
  • FM and pediatric MDs (primary care) seem overwhelmed (too much to know?)—and often do not have enough time for print or alternative media.
  • OB/GYNs appeared in the “use least” category of many channels/content types.
  • Rheumatologists are among the least digitally focused—although it is a mixed bag. They are leaders in accessing information via eNewsletters.

The Details of Multichannel Engagement

At 208 minutes a day, Electronic Health Records/Electronic Medical Documents are far and away the most “engaged with” information/media source—with older physicians spending an average of 40 minutes longer then their younger counterparts. Organic search engines (42 minutes a day), medical websites (34 minutes), and indexing sites such as PubMed (31 minutes) round out the top three. Print publications/journals and newsletters are close behind at 25 and 21 minutes, respectively.

The survey inquired about 14 distinct media sources that physicians tend to use; here is snapshot of just a few key sources:

Approximately 89% of physicians engage with print publications and journals in some way as part of a multichannel strategy to obtain information. Cardiologists (42 minutes a day!), hematologists-oncologists, neurologists, and IM docs engage with print the most, while general surgeons (17 minutes a day), emergency medicine docs, OB/GYNs, and pediatric physicians engage the least. On average, while cardiologists, psychologists, and hematologists-oncologists are much more likely to increase than decrease print usage in the next 12 to 24 months, infectious disease docs, endocrinologists, and general and orthopedic surgeons are most likely to go in the opposite direction.

Print in the Digital Era

When asked about print viability in the digital era, 40% of physicians said they prefer using print and digital as part of a multichannel strategy to procure information. Thirty-four percent said print was necessary for “lean back” reading outside of the office and 26% said that, in the future, they will have no time for print given time demands and a preference for digital sources.

Digitally speaking, virtually all physicians visit medical websites during the course of their day, with hemotologists-oncologists, (42 minutes), IM doctors, cardiologists and neurologists engaged the most. General surgeons (25 minutes), psychologists, dermatologists, and infectious disease docs use medical websites the least. Regarding medical eNewsletters, fans tend to be older physicians in general and cardiologists, gastroenterologists, neurologists, pediatricians, and rheumatologists specifically. More than 25% of EM docs, pediatricians, and orthopedic/general surgeons do not engage with eNewsletters at all. And that’s not a typo as it relates to pediatricians!

Podcasts are gaining steam, although close to 40% of all MDs do not engage at all. Cardiologists and EM physicians are the biggest users, followed by IM docs and psychologists. About half of all physicians use some form of social media professionally—appreciably less than the top media sources as per above. In the case of Twitter, for example, dermatologists, neurologists, and cardiologists lead the charge with this type of engagement, although they use it only sporadically.

Future Trends

In looking at future use of all 14 media sources, we asked physicians if they plan to increase use (10-, 20-, or more than 30%), decrease use (10-, 20-, or more than 30%), or “remain the same” in the next 12 to 24 months. Many docs told us that they plan to remain the same on many counts—from a low of 56% for medical websites and print publications/journals to 70% for podcasts and more than 80% for videos. The largest “expected” increase in use was in online search, medical websites, and mobile apps, while the smallest increase was in medical supplements and social media.

While younger doctors (under 45 years of age) generally plan to increase use of online indexing searches (e.g., PubMed or UpToDate), medical websites, podcasts, and “commentary” videos the most, older physicians plan to increase use of organic search (Google), medical eNewsletters, and MD-only social networks such as SERMO. Every specialty plans to increase usage of medical websites. Cardiologists expect to increase use of podcasts, eNewsletters, and Twitter—a trifecta for an information-hungry specialty. Neurologists are not far behind in this rarified air, with hematologists-oncologists increasingly engaging with podcasts.

Le #Nobel de #médecine 2018 récompense l’#immunothérapie contre le #cancer #hcsmeufr 


VIDÉO - Les lauréats du Nobel de médecine 2018, James Allison et Tasuku Honjo, ont révolutionné l’approche pour traiter les tumeurs, en trouvant le moyen d’activer la réponse du système immunitaire.
GIE_GERS's curator insight, October 1, 3:38 PM

VIDÉO - Les lauréats du Nobel de médecine 2018, James Allison et Tasuku Honjo, ont révolutionné l’approche pour traiter les tumeurs, en trouvant le moyen d’activer la réponse du système immunitaire.

Seven Outcomes of Successful Patient Engagement Strategies



There are numerous patient engagement strategies aimed at improving care. What are the outcomes that show these solutions are working?



October 01, 2018 - This is the last article of a three-part series centered on the steps required to make a patient engagement initiative successful. The first article, Three Steps to Jumpstart Effective Patient Engagement Initiatives, focused on getting started. The second article, Three Keys to Implementing Successful Patient Engagement Strategies, focused on implementation.


Patient engagement affects every patient interaction across the care continuum. Accordingly, the outcomes that you can expect will come from every area of the organization. When refining targeted outcomes, let metrics be your guide. Measurement shows us what’s working and what’s not.


Patient engagement requires constant monitoring to enable continuous fine-tuning. An effective system can provide data on the clinicians, clinics, and hospitals that are getting the best results. This data and good reporting tools will help you answer the all-important question: Why are some teams getting great traction and others aren’t? Data also reveals the messages and delivery mechanisms that work, and highlights patients who need greater attention.


Here are some of the outcomes that you can realize:


1. Boosting engagement: An effective patient engagement solution delivers information that is developed with an understanding of human behavior, including what motivates action, how people process information, and what builds trust. Engagement is not a one-way relationship. While the goal for those in health care is to deliver meaningful information and drive patient action, we must also focus on building trust with patients. Without trust, patients will not engage. It is imperative for patients to feel that their voice is being heard through empathetic conversations. Those conversations should be driven by a solid patient engagement message that has been studied and refined, based on continuing evaluation of patient responses and staff feedback.


READ MORE: Raising Patient Satisfaction Scores as a Component of Quality Care


Since your organization’s portal is likely the gateway you’ll use to automate aspects of engagement, portal use is key. Patient engagement programs can track which techniques result in higher adoption rates, for example:


  • Offering faster test results
  • Streamlining prescription renewals
  • Access to 24/7 appointment
  • scheduling


These programs can also help reveal which tactics result in patient activation. We need patients to act on the guidance provided, whether it be scheduling an annual physical or diagnostic test, following their rehab regimen, or improving their diet. Without patient activation, organizations will not attain the outcomes they have targeted.


2. Managing care transitions and reducing readmissions:  Engaging patients beyond a health crisis and throughout their recovery is critical to reducing complications, avoiding readmissions, and monitoring the recovery process. A patient engagement system can support an array of transitions, including hospital-to-home transitions after a procedure or chronic condition episode, or rehabilitation-to-home transitions after a period of therapy.


Two of the most effective means of reducing readmissions are quality interactive education tools and follow-up phone calls to the patient. The hospital experience is stressful for patients. Being alone or suddenly having family around at the bedside can make it even more complicated. Stress can increase when patients are sent home. They receive a lot of information, from discharge paperwork to care and follow-up instructions. All this occurs while most still feel unwell.


Patient education: Every clinician is an educator. However, it is impossible for each clinician to deliver the same quality education to every patient at every encounter. It simply cannot be replicated and measured, even using a script. Clinicians have a different amount of time with each patient and each patient has a unique way of learning. That’s why it is best to enable them with quality, interactive education materials using appropriate technology. This way, patients can watch and interact with the materials on their own time and as many times as they want. The content should be developed for different learning styles, tested, and improved over time. Of course, educational content must be easy to access. Delivering consistent education using technology helps patients take greater ownership of their care.


READ MORE: Patient Engagement Technology, EHRs Influence Patient Satisfaction


For example, a Cleveland Clinic study showed that unsatisfactory bowel preparation has been reported in up to 33 percent of screening colonoscopies. Patients who viewed an educational, interactive video prior to their colonoscopy procedure had higher rates of satisfactory preparation – 92.3 percent compared to 87.4 percent for the group that did not watch it.


Follow-up phone calls: In addition, a good patient engagement system should facilitate follow-up phone calls to make sure patients have filled their medications and that they are taking them as prescribed. After a hospital visit, a post-discharge call can verify that patients have scheduled a follow-up appointment with their primary care physician, and that they have transportation. Follow-up calls can help identify and address changes in a patient’s status, possibly preventing another hospital visit. These calls also are a way to touch base without requiring a visit. They can help detect signs of depression, loneliness, poor eating habits, etc. Implementing technology that automates the process of patient outreach means that staff is not wasting time simply trying to get patients on the phone when they are available. As a result, clinicians can work at the top of their license and provide counsel specific to the patient’s condition.


3. Improving patient safety: A patient engagement system provides consistent and easy-to-understand content that patients can consume on their own time, via the devices that work best for them. Step-by-step tips for maintaining wellness, easy to understand instructions for taking medications, and programs for effectively managing chronic conditions are central to self-care. Better-informed patients translate to fewer adverse events and better outcomes.


4. Increasing HCAHPS scores: Receiving effective and quality health care is not something that just happens. It is requires partnership between the patient and the care team. When patients understand what is happening around them, they feel more in control and have less fear and anxiety. They feel more satisfied with their care. A good patient engagement system will help you manage expectations during encounters. This can be automated to occur before the hospitalization, which frees up clinicians to have more personalized conversations with patients.


5. Enhancing clinicians’ workflows and satisfaction: Prepared patients save clinicians time, and patients who know what to expect are less likely to cancel an office visit or procedure. Patients’ most common questions should be answered by engagement programs, thus reducing calls to the office. For example, nurses can alert a patient with a scheduled surgical procedure to watch an educational video via the portal. The patient can watch at his or her convenience. Nurses can then respond to individual questions, helping optimize clinicians’ time and potentially improving job satisfaction.


READ MORE: Patient Engagement Tools, PGHD Present New Engagement Opportunities


6. Empowering patients: Wellness is highly dependent on attitude. When patients receive clear and timely communication in a way that makes them feel heard and appreciated, they better understand and participate in their own care as a true partner. They have more meaningful interactions with their care team. For example, exploring treatment options when a range of choices exist helps patients weigh the risks and benefits of different approaches. They feel empowered by understanding their options and being allowed to express their preferences. In addition, technology can enable family and the care network to be supportive, regardless of their location. Patients and families who have a good experience with an organization and its staff form a stronger connection to their team and are more confident about the care received.


7. Promoting positive results: Highlighting good results helps motivate clinicians when they see that their efforts are making a difference. Be sure to report on positive results, even when you achieve outcomes that you weren’t expecting, such as the following:


Example 1: A large, multi-hospital organization standardized the education for a common disease process and then sent patients more information about their care via a tailored video program. Nurse care managers would do a follow-up call with the patients who watched the video, after being informed by a reporting system. This approach saved nurses tedious administrative time tracking down patients and delivering lengthy over-the-phone education about their disease. Patients were better able to digest the information and formulate questions and thoughts around the topic. As a result, follow-up calls were shorter and allowed the nurse to deliver teach-back and motivational interviewing. Nurses doubled the number of patients they could follow up within a week. This simple process improvement resulted in thousands of dollars saved.


Example 2: Most organizations believe they’ll achieve the most cost savings in addressing patients with chronic conditions. This is often the case. However, by tracking patient queries, one healthcare system learned its greatest consumers of services were worried mothers with children under 12. These moms and their children were one of the highest utilizers of the emergency department for the self-insured organization. Implementing an education program geared for moms and explaining care options after hours (such as the proximity of urgent care clinics or 24-hour outpatient clinics near their homes) helped reduce unnecessary emergency visits.


When done right, patient engagement programs can provide more effective ways to manage care by building trust and delivering important patient education that motivate people to take greater ownership of their care. Equally important, digital systems with robust reporting mechanisms can help uncover outcome data that can support organizations’ business objectives, while cultivating a happier, healthier patient community.



Pam Holt, RN, BSN, MOL, is operational consultant for patient engagement with Clinical Effectiveness at Wolters Kluwer, Health. In her role, Pam helps deliver measurable business outcomes through patient engagement strategies. Prior to joining Wolters Kluwer, Pam served as the System Director for Patient Education at Mercy Health System, based in Chesterfield, Missouri.


Wolters Kluwer Health is a leading global provider of trusted clinical technology and evidence-based solutions that engage clinicians, patients, researchers, students and the next generation of healthcare providers. With a focus on clinical effectiveness, research and learning, safety and surveillance, and interoperability and data intelligence, our proven solutions drive effective decision-making and consistent outcomes across the continuum of care. To reduce the variability that prevents effective care, healthcare professionals around the world use our trusted solutions, such as UpToDate®, Lexicomp®, Medi-Span®, and Emmi® patient engagement programs.

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