Emmi Solutions goes mobile to engage patients
Officials at Emmi Solutions, a healthcare communication company, have announced that its interactive patient engagement programs are now fully functional on smartphones and tablets.
The company’s ability to track the delivery and consumption of health information will now extend to mobile devices, and will allow providers to measure the clinical and financial impact of patient engagement, according to Devin Gross, CEO of Emmi Solutions.
The reason for the expansion? “Hospitals must move beyond their own walls to engage and empower patients as valuable assets," he said. "And, patients want to take a more active role in their own healthcare, but need to be given the tools to do so."
Gross sees patient engagement as imperative for providers in today’s challenging healthcare reimbursement landscape. “From volume-based reimbursement to value-based reimbursement, the reality is, people aren’t going to be able to cut their way out of this,” he said. “We’re starting to see new population health management. Provider networks are starting to focus on patient self-management.”
According to Gross, the only way to effectively engage patients is to give them the right information, in the way they want it, in ways that are easy to digest and actionable.
Gross said Emmi’s new mobile platform gives providers an effective tool to reach patients on their own terms. That’s one of the reasons that the Emmi product does not require an app. Tracking and documentation provided by Emmi is seamlessly provided whether a patient is using an iPod, iPhone, Android or computer. The program can remember where a user is in the system, even when the user switches from one piece of technology to another.
Emmi is among many companies that have realized smartphones will be the platform of the future. Nearly half of American adults now own smartphones, making them more popular than basic mobile phones, according to a survey recently released by the Pew Research Center.
Forty-one percent of patients would prefer to have more of their care delivered via their mobile device, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers study. Mobile platforms allow providers to engage hard-to-reach patients, especially underserved populations and young people. For these groups, their mobile devices are often their only access to the Internet.
[See also: mHealth moving forward fast, experts say.]
“The demand for this new platform is evidenced by the fact that soon after making the programs available on mobile devices to existing clients, nearly 10 percent of patients began accessing their prescribed program via a mobile device,” said Gross.
“We believe patients are the most under-utilized resource in healthcare,” he added. “They want to be more involved and they can be more involved, but historically they have not been given the tools to do so.”
“Engaging patients is no longer a nice-to-have, it is a must-have,” Gross added. “To improve quality, enhance the patient experience and reduce cost, hospitals must find an efficient way to move beyond the hospital’s walls to empower patients and effectively manage the health of populations.”
Tom Smith, CIO, of Evanston, Illinois-based NorthShore University HealthSystem (pictured at right), a user of Emmi, said the hospital has already had great success in using Emmi’s products to provide care consent and educate patients on their upcoming procedures.
A doctor panel at NorthShore approved the Emmi consent communications tool because “they think it works, and they think patients are better informed and have better documentation,” said Smith.
“Emmi patient education programs are engaging, effective and now more convenient for our patients on mobile devices,” said Edwin Loftin, vice president of nursing at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida. “EMMI programs empower patients to better self manage their health care and to make more informed decisions. EMMI has had a positive impact on our patient satisfaction, resulted in improved outcomes, and has become a valued tool within our care giver toolkits.”
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