As health care entities look to transform the way they deliver care, improving patient experience has become a top priority in the industry. This means finding different ways to include patients in the decision-making process.
Clinicians are forming relationships with their patients to better understand their wishes. They are taking the time to educate their patients about treatment options and how to properly take their medications. Patients are being encouraged to be active participants in their care by asking questions and enrolling in digital communication tools that make it easier to track their health.
At OSF HealthCare, we are partnering with companies who’ve developed innovative digital technologies that encourage patients to be fully invested in their own care.
Personalizing Health Care
Our OSF Innovation Partnerships team is working to implement 12 new digital health solutions that we believe will help improve outcomes and allow patients to take ownership of their care. Here’s a profile of three applications that some patients will be able to take advantage of this year.
OSF will soon provide a new, free personalized resource called Circle by OSF that supports women through pregnancy and motherhood. The smartphone app provides weekly updates on a baby’s development during pregnancy through the first year of life. Moms can find credible answers to frequently asked questions about pregnancy and parenthood and to-do lists with detailed next steps from a provider team. The app links mothers to OSF services such as classes and support groups. It even allows new or expecting moms to easily track and share information with providers such as weight gain, number of kicks and feedings. We are also developing virtual visits for breastfeeding counseling that can be accessed after hours.
In the future, we will develop this solution to become a lifelong resource for women surrounding topics of pediatrics, breast cancer, menopause and palliative care.
In late 2015, OSF partnered with CancerIQ to develop and pilot the company’s innovative genetic screening tool that helps identify patients who may be at high risk for breast cancer. It works by assessing a patient’s risk factors in real-time based on a short personal and family history questionnaire. The application then flags at-risk patients and gives providers the information they need to quickly take action to prevent a cancer diagnosis.
The 14-month pilot in Peoria resulted in more than 13,000 breast cancer screenings. Nearly 4,000 cases were identified for further assessment; this could include genetic counseling, screening or testing beyond a typical mammogram or sonogram. Some of those cases resulted in clinicians working with the patients to reduce their risk of developing cancer.
Traditionally, genetic counseling visits can take as long as 90 minutes. We are working with Cancer IQ to develop a navigation tool that allows patients to complete much of the needed information at home, prior to coming to the visit. This information will allow for our Advanced Practice Nurses to better prepare for the visit and reduce the visit time by half.
We are now expanding the use of CancerIQ into other markets as well as beginning to pilot a colon cancer screening module.
Like many other health care specialties, there is an increasing need for behavioral health services across the U.S. It’s the goal of OSF to integrate behavioral health coaches in our primary care clinics to address this need and employ the use of a new online therapy application to help treat patients suffering from anxiety, depression, chronic illness, eating issues or stress.
The SilverCloud Health tool offers evidence-based therapeutic programs patients can use to manage their mental and behavioral health. The interactive application includes various mindfulness exercises, interactive journaling, mood and lifestyle charting as well as coaching to meet weekly goals. The platform is also customizable to meet the needs of individual patients.
The SilverCloud Health app will be used in combination with increasing access to behavioral therapists. OSF plan to eventually roll out SilverCloud to patients across our Ministry.
Giving Patients Options
Adopting digital solutions is just one way OSF is trying to revolutionize the way health care is delivered. With a growing amount of health and wellness-related information on the internet, it can be difficult to filter fact from fiction. We want to provide patients a trusted source of truth.
It’s our intention at OSF to provide clinically validated information through various technologies that will help our patients lead healthier lifestyles. That’s in line with companies like Amazon and Uber that have digitally engaged customers for years. We want to be equal partners with our patients to meet their health care needs.