SeamlessMD Podcast - Episode 27 - Top 7 Digital Patient Engagement Myths

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December 15, 2020

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Video:

In this episode of the SeamlessMD Podcast, Dr. Joshua Liu, CEO of SeamlessMD & Marketing colleague, Alan Sardana, discuss the Top 7 Digital Patient Engagement Myths. See the full show notes below for details.

Guest(s): Dr. Joshua Liu (@joshuapliu), Co-founder & CEO at SeamlessMD

Episode 27 – Show notes:

[0:07] Dr. Liu shares howTelemedicine, Virtual Care, and Digital Patient Engagement are often used interchangeablydue to the lack of a universally consistent framework of definition;

[1:00] Myth #1: “Digital patient engagement issynonymous with telemedicine and virtual care”

Telemedicine is the remote diagnosis and treatment ofpatients by means of telecommunications technology. In other words, telemedicineis using telecommunications technology to replace an in-person occurrence betweena patient and provider;

Virtual care is a larger umbrella term thatencompasses all the ways healthcare providers remotely interact with theirpatients. In addition to treating patients via telemedicine, providers may uselive video, audio, and instant messaging to communicate with their patientsremotely;

Digital patient engagement interacts with patients by guiding them betweenvisits (in-person or via telemedicine) using automated, pre-programmed educationand instructions based on their particular intervention;

[9:00] Myth #2: “Digital patient engagement is pointlessbecause of video visits”

Video visits are the “low-hanging fruit” of telemedicine& virtual care as they replace an existing workflow (in-person visit);

Digital patient engagement screens patients in the background, determiningwhether a video visit is necessary, optimizing the workflow;

Thus, an optimized, digital workflow would have both;

[12:26] Myth #3: “Digital patient engagement is onlyfor young patients”

This myth stems from underestimating the technological prowess of senior citizens and fails to recognize how Digital Patient Engagement platforms such as SeamlessMD use a multi-channel (SMS, Email, App) approach that bypasses common communication barriers that older generations may experience;

[17:31] Myth #4: “My EHR/EMR can do this already”

This myth is similar tosaying “we have Microsoft Word so we don’t need Excel”;

Patient portals carry out other useful functions such as displaying lab results, but lack the algorithmic functions and comprehensive content needed for complex patient engagement;

Further, leading EHRslike Epic and Cerner recognized this gap and now recommend integrating SeamlessMDwith their patient portals. See SeamlessMD’s listing on the Epic App Orchard and on Cerner CODE;

[22:25] Myth #5: “A person can do exactly what digitalpatient engagement does”

This myth is technicallytrue, but not scalable. SeamlessMD serves not only as a non-labor-intensivealternative on a more regular occurrence, but also a more efficient datacollector and compiler;

To perform the same functionsas Digital Patient Engagement, an in-person auditor would need to:

  • Follow & guide each patient 24/7;
  • Send personalized messages, education & reminders based on the stage a patient is at (e.g. pre-op, post-op) as well as their unique profile (e.g. comorbidities);
  • Collect PROs, patient compliance & post-op symptoms;
  • Send self-management education based on the patient’s symptoms and activity;
  • Create graphs and charts mapping the patient’s progress and to display signs of complication;
  • Display population trends for each PRO data point (e.g. pain scores across the population, opioid use after discharge, mobilization compliance post-op day 1-30, etc.);
  • Combine each patient’s real-time activity with the population medical history data to produce real-time readmission predictions;

[31:14] Myth #6: “It’s easy for us (a medicalinstitution) to go out and build our own app for digital patient engagement”

Anyone can build an app with sufficient time and money, but would also need to build a company dedicated to ongoing research and development to improve engagement rates, accessibility & maintenance;

[37:08] Myth #7: “Digital patient engagement is only valuable with big amounts of data, artificial intelligence & machine learning”

This is a myth because of the word “only”. Big data, artificial intelligence & machine learning can certainly make a better platform. But, good outcomes such as reduced Length of Stay, Readmissions, SSIs, and ED visits were achieved without machine learning in trials, simply by engaging patients digitally without A.I.;

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