A successful connected health program, in which patients use information, technology, and other tools to engage in their own care and self-manage conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, involves a lot of preparation. In fact, the planning for a connected health program begins well before you even launch a pilot program.
Any kind of change will be resisted by an equal, opposing force, observes Susan Lane, RN, corporate manager of technology and operations for the Partners Center for Connected Health (PCCH), which hosted its annual symposium in Boston last week. To create a program that can grow, you must have a clear focus and put measurements in place that will translate to a final scaled program if the pilot is successful, she said.
Connected health programs use technology to deliver care outside of the provider setting. For example, a program might connect patients and physicians via remote monitoring and e-visits and allow patients to upload their own data and track it online. The technologies and tools track medication adherence, weight, blood pressure, and other vital signs.
The goal of these programs is not only to get patients more involved in their own health, but also to give physicians and caregivers early warnings and a chance to intervene when a patient's health is declining, in order to avoid readmissions and trips to the emergency room.
Lane and four other members of the PCCH team outlined six steps taao creating a successful connected health program: