UAB Medicine has partnered with SeamlessMD, becoming the first health system in Alabama to leverage patient engagement technology to improve patients’ recovery from major surgery.
The technology was implemented as a part of UAB’s Enhanced Recovery After Surgery initiative, beginning with colorectal surgery. The ERAS program is a patient-centered approach to integrate evidence-based interventions across the entire surgical pathway, leading to better patient satisfaction and health outcomes.
After UAB’s first ERAS surgery in 2015, the health system saw improvements in lengths of stay and pain scores for colorectal surgery patients. The initiative won a UAB Health System Innovation Award in 2016, and the positive results have prompted other surgical service lines to begin coordinating their own ERAS pathways. UAB aims to grow the success of its ERAS program through a new partnership.
With SeamlessMD, UAB is now providing a digital experience that guides patients from surgery preparation through recovery. Patients can access the digital application through their mobile phone, tablet or computer, and they receive reminders to help them follow the ERAS care plan. Patients can also access an education library to learn about what to expect from their surgery and the recovery process.
Upon discharge from the hospital, patients can report their pain scores, symptoms and wound photos from their own devices, enabling them to stay connected with the care team.
“While our implementation of ERAS has already delivered promising results, we believe patient engagement technology and collecting patient-reported outcomes are key to achieving even better experiences and outcomes,” said Daniel Chu, M.D., colorectal surgeon.
“The ability to give patients the right information at the right time is an exciting next step for UAB’s ERAS program, where timely patient education is imperative,” said Gregory Kennedy, M.D., Ph.D., professor and director of UAB’s Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery. “As well, patient engagement is critical during the weeks immediately after surgery, when patients are most vulnerable to complications such as infections.”
In addition to patient engagement and collecting PROs, UAB aims to increase patient compliance with ERAS protocols, which is correlated with faster recovery times. The health system will leverage SeamlessMD to deliver a standardized ERAS pathway, as well as personalized educational resources for each patient based on their unique medical profile — a feat not possible with paper education.
Chu hopes this will ultimately lead to better health outcomes for UAB patients.
“UAB is a highly innovative health system, and we are excited for this opportunity to collaborate with one of the country’s premier health care organizations,” said Joshua Liu, M.D., CEO of SeamlessMD. “We look forward to helping UAB advance its ERAS program, while better engaging patients and improving their health outcomes.”
ABOUT UAB HEALTH SYSTEM
UAB Medicine comprises the School of Medicine and the $4.3 billion UAB Health System that includes all of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s patient-care activities and 2,300 licensed beds in six hospitals, one of which is UAB Hospital — the third-largest public hospital in the United States, winner of the Women’s Choice award, and one of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals. UAB is the state of Alabama’s largest single employer and an internationally renowned research university and academic health center; its professional schools and specialty patient-care programs are consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50. UAB is the largest academic medical center in Alabama and one of the top four largest academic medical centers in the United States. UAB’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science is advancing innovative discoveries for better health as a two-time recipient of the prestigious Center for Translational Science Award. Find more information at www.uab.edu and www.uabmedicine.org.
SeamlessMD provides the leading Patient Engagement and Quality Improvement platform for health systems to deliver value-based models of care, including Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS), Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH), prehabilitation, readmissions prevention, bundled payments and Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) data collection. Research completed by academic medical centers has shown SeamlessMD to reduce hospital length of stay, readmissions, ER visits and costs. Accessible via smartphone, tablet or computer, the SeamlessMD platform keeps patients on track from preparation through recovery with reminders, video-based education, progress tracking and PRO data collection. Providers can access real-time dashboards to measure compliance and outcomes, intervene sooner for patients at-risk and drive quality improvement across the organization. For more information, please visit: www.seamless.md.