6 Steps to Creating a Connected Health Program

Gienna Shaw, 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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