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6 Steps to Creating a Connected Health Program

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, October 26, 2011

For providers, the key is to make life as easy as possible, he says. Recruit champions and influencers first—those who are willing to try something new, share what they learned with their larger circle of peers, and convince others that connected health is the right thing to do.

Maintaining engagement is another challenge. Clearly communicating program goals and what each user must do to accomplish them can help, Pelletier says. Define what a healthy program looks like and watch the data to ensure you're on the right track.

5. Evaluate your efforts

If you evaluate your program when the pilot is complete, you're too late, says Kamal Jethwani, MD, lead research scientist at PCCH. You must build in evaluation during the program design phase. For example, if you determine during program design that you will focus on patients who are most at-risk for readmission, later on you can measure whether you reached the appropriate audience. And if you decided your pilot would focus on improving outcomes for patients, you can measure readmissions and utilization throughout the program pilot and figure out if you asked "too much or too little," he says.

You should also be measuring the effectiveness of individual program components, such as the impact of nudges and incentives on adoption. When assessing patient engagement, look not only at the number of patients who signed up for the program and reported in at least once, but also how many patients continued to participate.

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1 comments on "6 Steps to Creating a Connected Health Program"


Dave Howard (10/27/2011 at 2:57 PM)
Some great points here. Especially how to engage patients in the program. Sounds like social media like Facebook and Twitter could be a catalyst to engaging the patient ecosystem. Of course, social media is not the channel through which patients would share results but cloud-based web services applications (like XIFIN iNet) enable instantaneous intelligence sharing at all points in the continuum of care. Disparate systems like ordering, LIS, HIS, billing and A/P can all be connected via the web, which is where the patients already reside. Now is the time for the health ecosystem to take FULL advantage of information and knowledge sharing via the web. Some of us are old enough to remember our fear of the fax machine. Why now are we so afraid to let it go?