Learn 3 proven strategies to motivate patients and therapists through technology.
Research illustrates how the latest technology is being utilized by innovative health systems to transform every aspect of care delivery. This brief breaks down these findings and demonstrates how providers are using technology to excel in three key areas: patient engagement and outcomes, employee retention, and clinical efficiency.
1. Technology to Improve Patient Motivation
Patient engagement and motivation are strong predictors for whether or not the patient will have optimal clinical outcomes and improvement. Strategies to encourage engagement and motivation should incorporate new technologies. In fact, patient interviews supported the use of intuitive technologies that feature opportunities for practice outside of traditional care settings, goals for rehabilitative exercises, ongoing motivation and social interactions.1
Therapists point to specific strategies to improve motivation and patient engagement, all of which can be aided by new technology:
1. Setting understandable and achievable goals
2. Providing progress information
3. Defining how the patient could fare with no rehabilitation gains
4. Explaining why certain exercises were performed2
2. Technology to Enhance Employee Retention
Research also proves a clear connection between technology and employee satisfaction and retention. In the article, “The Link Between Technology and Retention,” Gareth Cartman made the point that3:
“To provide a more satisfying and prospering environment, we need to start mirroring the way people use technology at home.”
It is an important competitive advantage as well as a great recruitment tool to say that you’ve adopted the latest technology.4 Further, as a majority of the workforce becomes millennials, adopting the latest technology becomes even more critical to meeting employee expectations. Per TC Talent Culture, “this generation… who grew up learning in computer labs, taking tests on computers, and researching on their tablets, will want an experience tailored to their needs...”5
Adopting technology that enables providers to more effectively care for patients and connect with other providers will be key to hiring and retaining top talent.
3. Technology for Clinical Efficiency
The U.S. spends more per capita on healthcare than any country in the world. This has made the industry ripe for technologies designed to improve efficiencies and lower costs.
“Hospitals and health systems continue to make progress leveraging technology to improve patient safety and quality of care,” said Chantal Worzala, AHA vice president for health IT and policy.6 “We are also seeing that those engaged in new models of care are driving greater adoption of advanced health IT functions. These systems make it easier for patients to do things like request prescription refills online, and view and download clinical information. These advancements continue to enable patients to play a more informed, active role in their health and healthcare.”
A review of 13 studies involving the adoption of new technology in healthcare “identified evidence about the ability of mobile handheld technology to positively impact rapid response, error prevention, information accessibility, and data management in healthcare settings.”7
Implementation of successful technological tools is not always easy, and it often makes sense to partner with an organization that already has effective resources. An article by Info Entrepreneurs titled “Joint Ventures and Partnering,” posited that a successful joint venture partnership can offer “access to greater resources, including specialized…technology.”8
Case Study: RehabTracker
RehabTracker, a patient- focused smart-phone application, is increasingly being adopted by rehabilitation facilities nationwide. The HIPAA-compliant app enables patients to engage in their progress as they view updates from their therapy team, track progress on areas of functional improvement, and celebrate rehab milestones with family and friends.
“For patients who have had a stroke or an injury such as a hip fracture, RehabTracker enables them to view their goals, track progress and enhance communication in their support circle,” explained Muhammad Khan, physical therapist and program director at St. Catherine Hospital, where the app was first piloted for the hospitals of Community Healthcare System®.
Additionally, Khan noted that, “Motivation is key for patient success in rehabilitation. Patients are medically complex and need to be motivated with encouragement on a daily basis to help them progress.”
Community Healthcare System adopted the RehabTracker app for patients within its hospital-based rehabilitation unit at three of its hospitals in northwest Indiana. Since implementation, key quality metrics of Functional Independence Measure (FIM) gain and Discharge to Community have improved.
|FIM Gain||2017||April 2018|
|St. Catherine Hospital||25.39||33.03|
|St. Mary Medical Center||29.88||31.8|
Discharge to Community
|St. Catherine Hospital||72.3%||77.2%|
|St. Mary Medical Center||82.9%||82.9%|
How Kindred Can Help
To learn more about Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services (KHRS) and how RehabTracker can help your patients easily receive, monitor and share important milestones on the path to recover, visit kindredrehab.com.
1. Fager, S. K., & Burnfield, J. M. (2014). Patients’ experiences with technology during inpatient rehabilitation: opportunities to support independence and therapeutic engagement. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 9(2), 121-127.
3. The Link Between Technology And Retention by Gareth Cartman | November 5, 2014 talentculture.com
7. Mirela Prgomet, BAppSc(Hons), Andrew Georgiou, PhD, and Johanna I. Westbrook, PhD. The Impact of Mobile Handheld Technology on Hospital Physicians’ Work Practices and Patient Care: A Systematic Review. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2009 Nov-Dec; 16(6): 792–801. doi: 10.1197/jamia.M3215
Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services is the largest contract manager of hospital-based acute rehabilitation programs in the country.