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Interactive patient systems can achieve quick ROI

Hospitals can leverage the technology to improve HIT systems and meet meaningful-use requirements. By George Fleming


he drive toward integrated technology is trans- forming healthcare. Adopting health information technology (HIT) across care settings provides hospitals visible staff effi ciency, quality and safety

improvements, coordination and effi ciency of care benefi ts and patient engagement.

Healthcare informatics and meaningful use have become some of healthcare’s top priorities that have had a profound impact on overall quality of care. Interactive patient educa- tion systems can achieve quick return on investment in the pay-for-performance model by helping meet meaningful-use criteria, reducing hospital readmissions and associated costs by providing enhanced patient engagement and combining care coordination.

The rise of medical informatics

The digital revolution that swept America more than a de- cade ago has reached healthcare. Universities and vocational schools now offer educational programs and specializations in digital information collection. The growing trend of medical informatics has given birth to a new nursing specialization, nursing informatics and pa- tient applications for use with personal devices, such as in- teractive patient-engagement systems.

George Fleming is president and CEO of TeleHealth Services.

For more on TeleHealth Services solutions:

This rising trend, fueled in part by government incen-

tives, has aided in the use of interoperable technology, helping eligible hospitals meet their meaningful-use benchmarks and, subsequently, fully participate in The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) incentive program.

Hospitals seeking strategies for automating information gathering can leverage available patient interactive systems, signifi cantly enhancing the patient experience. These sys- tems utilize real-time, reciprocal information exchange to empower and engage patients, providing a better experience and individualized healthcare information. Offering unpar- alleled levels of control, patients can make requests and

10 October 2011

A patient uses the TIGR (telephone-initiated guided response) interface.

A i h TIGR ( l h i i i d id d )

access educational information to help them outside of the professional care environment while also allowing healthcare professionals to push content that is relevant and specifi c to individual profi le, condition or recovery. This automation can work without staff intervention, allowing care teams to focus on other job-related tasks to improve care outcomes. With a system-stored, educational-content library, clinicians can prescribe individual care plans based on specifi c conditions and needs. Patients can also submit feedback about their care


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