The task of getting a patient to become more involved in self-management of health can be challenging, especially when that patient is somewhat isolated or solely responsible for their own daily care. Social isolation is talked about a lot these days and, during a MobileHelp pilot study, a shift in patient engagement behaviors became apparent.
The pilot study included more than a dozen individuals. They were given a MobileHelp Remote Patient Monitoring System, and a few Bluetooth enabled peripherals – a weight scale, blood pressure monitor and a pulse-oxygen saturation monitor. A home health nurse assisted in identifying participants for the study and explained how to use the devices.
The intention of the pilot study was to answer the following question:
“Given access to devices to measure their own health, will patients monitor their health consistently on their own, will they be satisfied and confident with monitoring their own health and will their perception of safety improve when they track their health statistics?”
The overall results were a huge success – almost all the participants noted a huge increase in their perceived well-being. Not only did they self-report that they enjoyed taking their vitals, but many of the participants took the results to their doctors whom enjoyed seeing the consistent readings.
At the end of the study, 47% of the participants reported they were more confident about managing their own health. There was also an 18% increase in activity level as patients reported they felt healthier than they had before participating in the study.
However, after several months of no contact or support, many people began to lose their consistency in taking their own readings. It appeared that all the dips in participation were happening during the same time of year – right after the holidays.
It appears that when families gather for the holidays, patients seem to become more positively encouraged to follow treatment plans (i.e., medication adherence; taking vital signs readings as instructed). However, after the holidays, the motivation to continue these actions will tend to fall off. And, the slight increase in motivation to adopt healthy habits that often accompanies the New Year holiday — well, that compliance lift also shows a decline a few weeks into the new year.
But, the good news is that with a little encouragement, positive and healthier behaviors can be reinforced. A simple call or reminder prompt from the overseeing nurse, asking, “How are you doing with taking your readings daily?” can be just what’s needed. Digitally connected health platforms, like remote patient monitoring, can create a conducive communication feedback loop that may help reduce social isolation, improve patient adherence to treatment plans, and keep patients engaged in their own healthcare.
With the right technology, clinicians can be notified when a patient needs attention, and caregivers and family can also access their loved one’s health data to stay informed. Connected healthcare opens up a lot of opportunities to let the patient know they are not alone. It also supports the message that their health is important and encourages them to stay on track!
Good luck with your goals this year!
DID YOU KNOW?
Clear Arch Health provides the solutions that healthcare professionals need to create customized monitoring plans that help drive stronger adherence to treatment, deliver personalized care and strengthen a patient’s support system. We offer the tools and the know-how that empowers the transformation of healthcare.
Contact us here to discover how our digital health services, products and comprehensive solutions can help care providers improve and enhance patient management through the implementation of advanced remote healthcare technology.