New Technology Is Driving Business Results
Now is the time to integrate technology into patient care and hone those efforts for maximum success, according to peer-reviewed research published in the journal JMIR Research Protocols. 1
Rehabilitation professionals have long understood that patient engagement and motivation are strong predictors of whether or not a patient will achieve optimal clinical outcomes and improvement. Strategies to encourage engagement and motivation should incorporate new technologies. In fact, patient interviews support the use of intuitive technologies that feature opportunities for practice outside of traditional care settings, goals for rehabilitative exercises, ongoing motivation and social interactions. 2
Therapists point to specific strategies to improve motivation and patient engagement, all of which can be aided by new technology:
1. Working with the patient to set relevant goals that are understandable and achievable
2. Providing information about rehabilitation such as their progress toward recovery
3. An understanding of how the patient could fare with no rehabilitation gains
4. The rationale behind why certain exercises have to be performed3
Implementation of successful technological tools is not always easy, and it often makes sense to partner with an organization that already has effective resources. An article by Info Entrepreneurs titled “Joint Ventures and Partnering,” posited that a successful joint venture partnership can offer “access to greater resources, including specialized… technology.” 4
Case Study: RehabTracker, a Hand-Held Technology to Improve Patient Motivation
One example is RehabTracker, a free, patient-focused, smartphone application. The user-friendly app enables patients to engage in their progress as they view updates from their therapy team, track functional improvement, and celebrate rehab milestones with family and friends.
Muhammad Khan, physical therapist and program director at St. Catherine Hospital, where the HIPAA-compliant app was first piloted for the hospitals of Community Healthcare System ® , says that “motivation is the key for patient success in rehabilitation. These patients are medically complex and they need to be motivated with lots of encouragement on a daily basis to help them progress. Engaging the patient in daily targets helps to get them home.”
1. McAlearney AS, Sieck CJ, Hefner JL, Aldrich AM, Walker DM, Rizer MK, Moffatt-Bruce SD,
Huerta TR. High Touch and High Tech (HT2) Proposal: Transforming Patient Engagement Throughout the Continuum of Care by Engaging Patients with Portal Technology at the Bedside. JMIR Res Protoc. 2016 Nov 29;5(4):e221. 2. Maclean, N., Pound, P., Wolfe, C., & Rudd, A. (2000). A critical review of the concept of patient motivation in the literature on physical rehabilitation. Soc Sci Med, 50(4), 495-506.
3. Maclean, N., Pound, P., Wolfe, C., & Rudd, A. (2002). The concept of patient motivation: a qualitative analysis of stroke professionals’ attitudes. Stroke, 33(2), 444-448. 4. http://www.infoentrepreneurs.org/en/guides/ joint-ventures-and-partnering/
Since implementing RehabTracker in each rehabilitation unit, key quality metrics of Functional Independence Measure (FIM) gain and Discharge to Community have improved.