What do Bots Have to do With Patient Care?

This article was originally published by the Medline Newsroom.

Engaging patients and their families can help improve clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction, and it turns out bots can help. A 2019 study from The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery found significant benefits to using bots to engage patients recovering from knee or hip replacement surgery.

In the randomized study, patients who received a supplementary series of automated text messages, including encouraging messages and instructions to reinforce positive behaviors, were more engaged with their care and recovered faster following surgery. They exercised an average of 46 minutes each day compared to 38 minutes in the standard care group, and ceased using pain medication 10 days sooner.

This case is the latest in a growing number of studies that affirm the benefits of technology in patient outreach, an area of focus for homecare agencies.

“Patient engagement is increasingly a top priority for homecare organizations and will have a larger impact on their reimbursement and referrals under the new payment model,” says Chris Nave, Medline’s vice president of national accounts for homecare.

Recognizing its importance, Medline has partnered with CipherHealth, a software company specialized in patient engagement. Together they’re expanding the reach of CipherOutreach, an engagement platform for home health agencies. The platform uses automated call, text and email to send reminders, facilitate preventative health outreach and record care information that patients can access from home.

Leveraging technology like CipherOutreach, can not only allow more home health agencies to engage with patients but also gain actionable insights while reducing staff time. The University of Pennsylvania found within four months of using CipherOutreach, readmission rates for hospice patients fell by 16.3%. CipherOutreach also helped the team find 438 identifiable issues and assist 186 patients with urgent concerns. With real-time feedback from patients as one of the features of the CipherHealth platform, agencies can also make actionable and systematic changes that can further improve outcomes.

“CipherOutreach aligns well with our portfolio of solutions that aim to turn challenges with manual work into time savings so nurses can spend more time advancing clinical outcomes,” Nave said.

To learn more about how leading home health agencies partner with CipherHealth to effectively engage with patients throughout episodes of care, click here.

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