As hospitals scramble to adopt the patient-centered focus that is at the heart of federal regulations and legislation aimed at improving healthcare in the U.S., LodgeNet Healthcare today announced the expansion of its interactive patient engagement solution that encourages patients to become educated, active members of their care teams. eSUITE now allows hospitals to interact with patients throughout the entire continuum of care – and across multiple technology platforms – using evidence-based engagement principles proven to improve clinical outcomes.
"eSUITE is a robust solution that hospitals can use to prepare for, and address, the sweeping health reform requirements such as meaningful use of electronic health records, the creation of accountable care organizations, value-based purchasing, and quality-enhancing initiatives that include reducing avoidable readmissions and hospital-acquired infections," stated Gary Kolbeck, General Manager of LodgeNet Healthcare, a division of LodgeNet Interactive Corporation and the leader in clinically integrated patient engagement solutions.
"Over the next four years, these new regulations will significantly impact reimbursement rates and will dramatically transform the way organizations treat and interact with patients," Kolbeck continued. "Our powerful, easy to use, affordable and comprehensive solution is a joint decision-making tool designed to help hospitals enlist patients as partners in their own care by making them more informed, engaged and active in managing their health before, during and after discharge."
eSUITE facilitates two-way communications with patients, making it significantly more effective than passive solutions. Its compatibility with a variety of communication devices helps providers reach even the most vulnerable audiences who don't use (or have access to) computers. eSUITE can report when individuals view content, measure patient comprehension and alert staff when additional intervention is necessary. All of this information can be dynamically documented in the electronic medical record (EMR). eSUITE interacts with patients at three key stages in their care process:
- eXPRESS is a pre-admission solution that prepares patients for their upcoming hospital stay or procedure using his or her preferred communication channel. For example, a patient could receive a text message when it's time to stop taking a blood thinner prior to surgery.
- eNGAGE is an in-patient solution that allows hospitals to "prescribe" education videos for viewing on patients' televisions based on their specific diagnoses, age, preferred language and other criteria. Patients can also access information about their care team, daily schedule, medications, procedures and what they must do to manage their condition after they leave the hospital. The system can track viewership and measure comprehension through a series of interactive questions on the TV. This makes it easy for hospitals to identify when additional counseling is needed and intervene while patients are able to directly interact with their care team.
- eXTEND is a post-discharge solution that keeps patients engaged via ongoing medication and follow-up test and appointment reminders, encouragement, support group details and other useful information. Patients choose their preferred bidirectional communication channel, which can include smart phones, cell phones, PCs and Web-enabled TVs.
It is well documented that patients' failure to follow treatment regimens and change their lifestyle results in poor outcomes and higher costs. "A major benefit of eSUITE is that it provides hospitals with a long-term, integrated strategy to meet the patient engagement requirement found in the four reform programs that will directly impact Medicare reimbursements. Hospitals can meet the requirements of each program separately, but with respect to the patient engagement component, an integrated strategy allows for focused investment that can avoid duplicative acquisitions and provide the foundation for growth as staging evolves and requirements become more complex," Kolbeck said.
Moving forward, hospitals' finances will be closely intertwined with how informed and involved patients are in their care. For example, a robust patient engagement strategy will contribute to the increased patient satisfaction requirement of value-based purchasing where the estimated cost for the failure to meet the requirements is almost $2 million for an average-size hospital over the next five years. Assuming that the patient engagement requirements (among others) are met, participation in an accountable care organization can generate an estimated annual shared savings return of $10 million for an individual hospital.
"With the national spotlight focused on health reform and patient-centered care, the recognition of the critical role technology plays in educating and communicating with patients about their diagnoses, conditions, treatment, tests, procedures and follow-up care has never been greater," Kolbeck said. "eSUITE offers hospitals a necessary and cost-effective tool to improve discharge planning processes, enhance patient understanding of their conditions, change patient behavior, and facilitate early identification of patients at risk of readmission. As a result, organizations will be able to act appropriately and quickly to improve quality, outcomes and care collaboration; reduce liability risk; lower rehospitalization rates; save lives, increase patient satisfaction, cut costs and be well equipped to take advantage of market trends and succeed as health reform efforts continue to accelerate."
About LodgeNet Healthcare
LodgeNet Healthcare, a division of LodgeNet Interactive Corporation (NASDAQ: LNET), is the leading provider of patient engagement solutions designed to entertain, educate and empower patients. The company's interactive 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 shared decision-making tool that interacts with patients throughout the entire continuum of care using evidence-based engagement tools proven to improve clinical outcomes. 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.