The Michigan Value Collaborative

Helping Michigan hospitals achieve their best possible patient outcomes at the lowest reasonable cost

Tag: apps

Using Smartphone Apps for Health Care Transportation

Deby Evans

Deb Evans is the Site Engagement Manager for MVC.

In a recent article, (https://www.statnews.com/2017/04/05/uber-lyft-emergency-room-ride/) a growing number of patients have started to use Uber and Lyft to get to emergency rooms. Patients cited the cost savings and ability to choose where to receive care as reasons to use these apps as alternatives to an ambulance.  One potential risk with patients choosing where to receive care is that the preferred hospital may not be equipped to treat the emergency condition.  As a result, an ambulance is necessary to safely transport the patient to a more appropriate facility and the app is not the more cost-effective alternative.  Despite this limitation, there may be value in using ride share applications including extending the use to care for non-emergent patients.

Costs associated with missed healthcare appointments can be high for healthcare centers and hospitals. During the CHF peer-to-peer workgroups, one root cause for readmissions is lack of transportation.  As discussed in the toolkit, lack of transportation directly affects physician and clinic follow-up visits that could lead to an avoidable emergency room visit or readmission.  One participating hospital developed an initiative involving senior centers within the community to mitigate transportation issues for follow-up appointments.  If a partnering with community center is not an option in your area, utilizing ride share apps may be a less expensive alternative to help patients get to their physician appointments.  In a second article, http://www.wbur.org/bostonomix/2016/09/27/online-tool-hospital-transportation-uber hospitals have begun partnering with at least one of the apps and have found considerable benefits for their patients.

Have you thought about using a ride share app? What does your hospital do to help reduce the number of missed appointments?

 

Questions or comments?  We’d love to hear from you!  You can comment on this article, or fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

 

Should you be using mobile apps to connect with your patients?

Deby Evans

Deby Evans is the Site Engagement Manager for MVC.

Mobile applications, or apps, are becoming increasingly prevalent especially in healthcare. Not only can you get apps that help you with fitness, nutrition and mental agility but you can also get apps to connect with physicians and hospitals. Do these apps really work in encouraging people to move more and eat healthier or help hospitals connect better with patients?

The SMART trial, a randomized open label trial, used education versus a smartphone app to encourage people to move more.  They discovered that those using the app walked significantly more steps per day than those using education. In addition, the SMART trial showed encouraging results using a personal digital assistant to monitor and record food intake. More on this and other similar studies can be found here

Another interesting study utilizing text messaging for patients recovering from head and neck surgery can be found here. In this study the participants received informational texts daily about expected recovery, and were able to send texts back that were triaged for interventions. Interventions included rescheduling post-surgical appointments to provide treatment earlier, refilling prescriptions and providing reassurance. Ease of use was one of the main contributors to the success of this initiative along with patients being satisfied that the texting helped their health.

Are you using mobile apps to help patient education, improve patient outcomes and promote communication? Let us know what apps you are using and how successful they have been!


Questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you!  You can comment on this article, or use the form at the bottom of the page.