SIOUX FALLS, S.D., May 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- LodgeNet Healthcare, a division of LodgeNet Interactive Corporation and the leader in clinically integrated patient engagement solutions, announced today the availability of the whitepaper, "Patient & Family Engagement: Using Patient-Facing Technologies to Improve the Quality of Patient Care." The paper describes how an integrated approach to patient engagement that incorporates television-based technology will help hospitals meet the patient-centeredness requirements of federal reform initiatives. These include the benefits and specific steps needed to develop a strategy to comply with patient engagement requirements contained in four programs that will directly impact a provider's Medicare reimbursement rates: Value-based Purchasing (VBP), Meaningful Use (MU), avoidable hospital readmissions, and creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). A free copy of the whitepaper can be requested at www.lodgenet.com/Healthcare.
Readers will also learn how they can improve clinical outcomes for all patients – including the most underserved populations – to reduce or eliminate long-standing treatment disparities while promoting hospital and physician efficiency and reducing costs. The whitepaper also explores the challenges and benefits of integrating "patient centeredness" into the culture of healthcare delivery and how this will impact all stakeholders including patients, physicians and other healthcare professionals, hospitals, and payers.
"To defeat the passivity of patients and transform the culture of care delivery, we must motivate patient interest and solicit interaction," said Gary Kolbeck, General Manager of LodgeNet Healthcare. "Instead of expecting patients to conform to a one-size-fits-all system, we need to provide unique programs to reach them at the right time in their care journey, at their level of health literacy, in their native language, using their cultural norms, and where they want to be reached geographically and technologically."
The whitepaper recommends that hospitals incorporate the following components for an effective patient engagement strategy that addresses quality improvement and cost containment:
Utilize flexible, financially sustainable, customizable technology that can easily accommodate evolving regulations and best practices during and after a hospital stay. A hospital that leverages in-room interactive television and preferred bi-directional technologies such as smart phones, home televisions, printed materials and computer communication following a hospital stay can reach 100 percent of in-patients and 90 percent of patients post-discharge. To close the "disparity gap", hospitals must determine whether a patient engagement solution will reach even the most difficult-to-reach patients. This means offering an array of communication options that can apply to patients of all ages, with different types of medical conditions, at various locations, regardless of their health literacy.
Solicit and respond to patient preferences, stimulate joint decision-making, promote patient safety, and customize the delivery of patient education and tools to yield activated patients with the capacity and willingness to take on their essential roles in optimizing clinical outcome. Engaged and empowered patients are far more likely to make positive lifestyle changes and participate in follow-up care. The success of outcomes will be increasingly measured by the extent to which they correspond to patient preferences. Improvements to patient safety will require affirmative efforts to involve and interact with patients. Evidence has shown that when patients participate in defining the objectives for care and feel like valued members of the care team, they are also less likely to file lawsuits.
Educate inpatients about their condition, medication, and discharge instructions using media that is easy to use and familiar. To be effective, communication about a patient's medical condition must be timely, understandable and easy to access. Education, when provided during the care episode, serves as the foundation for productive dialogue with care providers and allows team members to identify high-risk patients that require specialized and personalized follow-up.
Incorporating educational materials into a valued entertainment option that increases overall patient satisfaction and encourages patient participation. Patients enjoy the entertainment value provided by interactive TV. This positive reaction extends to the value they place on being able to control their access to age-appropriate, "prescribed" educational materials that are specifically targeted to their needs. Knowing that they can review the materials as often as they like, share the information with visiting family members and identify where information gaps may persist so they can receive needed one-on-one attention has an empowering effect on patients who welcome a personalized, non-cookie cutter approach.
Track patient compliance and comprehension. An interactive TV system can automatically track when patients view required educational material and whether they fully comprehend the material. This information can be entered in a patient's electronic health record and alerts can be issued if additional assistance is required. Patient comprehension can be evaluated, documented, and supplemented with instructions from the nursing staff.
The whitepaper outlines how an interactive television-based strategy can form the foundation for cost-effective patient engagement without:
requiring the addition of new staff or significant re-education of existing staff,
workflow disruptions, or
investment in expensive new technology.
"It's important to remember that patient engagement can effectively utilize existing technology to achieve many of its aims," Kolbeck explains. "Often just making something good a bit better can help us achieve our goals. We don't always need to replace what's working with something new. The use of interactive TV to encourage patient engagement and participation is a perfect example."
About LodgeNet Healthcare
LodgeNet Healthcare, a division of LodgeNet Interactive Corporation (NASDAQ: LNET), is the leading provider of media and connectivity solutions designed to entertain, educate, engage and empower patients. The company's interactive television-based technology provides a cost-effective foundation to help hospitals comply with health reform mandates for patient-centered, collaborative care such as meaningful use, unnecessary readmissions, accountable care organizations (ACOs) and more. LodgeNet Healthcare offers eSUITE™, a comprehensive patient engagement solution that follows patients throughout the continuum of care to provide ongoing support that encourages healthy behaviors. Hospitals also benefit from LodgeNet Healthcare's professional services and consulting, patient-focused integrations and content solutions that are supported by the industry's only nationwide field service team. For more information, visit the LodgeNet Healthcare Website. LodgeNet and eSUITE are trademarks or registered trademarks of LodgeNet Interactive Corporation.