West Healthcare launches communication system to aid patient engagement, pop health

West TEC Pathways delivers the so-called "last mile" of patient communication, aligning that communication with clinical guidelines and care plans.
By Bill Siwicki
02:46 PM

LAS VEGAS – West Healthcare has launched at HIMSS16 a communication system designed to automate patient engagement and extend investments in population health, the vendor said.

The West TEC Pathways offering is a new feature of the West Engagement Center that aids in population health efforts by delivering the so-called "last mile" of patient communication and aligning that communication with clinical guidelines and care plans, West Healthcare explained. This approach, the vendor contended, helps keep doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other caregivers connected and engaged with their patients between visits.

"Many population health management systems are useful in segmenting and risk-stratifying patient panels and identifying gaps in care; however, many fall short when it comes to how and when to actually communicate with patients," West Healthcare said. "What is missing is the ability to balance person-to-person interactions with automated communications, including voice, text message, e-mail and other channels."

Most population health management systems are not communication platforms, and communication is the foundation for managing patients effectively across the continuum of care, the vendor said. TEC Pathways is designed to enable patient communication focused on the right patient, with the right message or instruction, at the right time, and in the patient's communication channel of choice, the vendor added.

[Also: See photos from Day 3 of HIMSS16]

To explain the benefits of its technology, West Healthcare uses an example of a 63-year-old patient named Tom who recently was assigned to a diabetes care management program. To care for Tom effectively, his care coordinator, Julie, needs to remind, manage and coach him through a number of interventions over a long period of time, West said. She must also keep an eye on Tom's general wellness and prevent other gaps in care around immunizations and screenings not related to his diabetes diagnosis, West added.

Using the new TEC Pathways, Julie can quickly incorporate automated communications to support Tom's care plan, West said. By prescribing a TEC Pathway for chronic care management for Tom, Julie can leverage a series of automated communication interventions including: text message reminders to Tom when it's time for him to make an appointment for foot and eye exams or A1c draws; automated voice calls to collect blood sugar readings; digital surveys asking how he's doing with his medications; an automated flu shot reminder that she doesn't have to remember.

Further, Julie can customize dates or frequency of communication interventions and ensure they are delivered in Tom's channel of choice – phone, text message, e-mail, web or medical device, West added.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT

This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the HIMSS16 conference. Follow our live blog for real-time updates, and visit Destination HIMSS16 for a full rundown of our reporting from the show. For a selection of some of the best social media posts of the show, visit our Trending at #HIMSS16 hub.

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