Web-Based Tools Can Facilitate Patient Engagement

A Web-based platform that facilitates patient-provider communication and offers medical information resources can bolster patient engagement, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, FierceMobileHealthcare reports.

Details of Study

For the study, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital gave iPads to patients and providers in the facility's intensive care and oncology units.

The iPads were equipped with patient-centered toolkits that gave patients access to educational content specific to their conditions (Mottl, FierceMobileHealthcare, 8/10). The online tools also allowed for patient-provider communication via a messaging system integrated in the providers' workflow (Brigham and Women's Hospital release, 8/3).

The researchers evaluated:

  • Enrollment strategies;
  • Use and usability of the tools; and
  • The content of patient-generated messages.

Study Findings

According to the study, non-critically ill patients were more likely to use the Web-based tool, compared with those who were critically ill (FierceMobileHealthcare, 8/10).

However, caregivers for critically ill patients often used the tools on their behalf.

The study found that patients and caregivers most often used the platform to:

  • Establish goals;
  • Identify care team members; and
  • View test results and medication.

In addition, the study found that while patients and caregivers used the tool's messaging capabilities to report health concerns or needs, they did not:

  • Demand immediate responses; or
  • Overwhelm providers with messages.

Lead author Anuj Dalal, a hospitalist in the hospital's Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, said the "findings indicate that even with critically-ill patients, technology can serve as a helpful mediator to get the provider, patient and/or caregiver on the same page, working towards a shared goal" (Brigham and Women's Hospital release, 8/3).

Source: iHealthBeat, Tuesday, August 11, 2015
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