eHealth initiative has a mission to use information technology to drive improvements in quality, safety, cost effectiveness and efficiency. This mission allows this non-profit group to bring together multiple stakeholders to: research solutions, educate those who can implement solutions, and advocate to ensure solutions are supported by policy and payment reform.
Clinicians, Consumers, Health Plans, HIT vendors, Hospitals, Labs, Pharmacies, Medical Device Manufacturers, QI organizations, Standards groups, Public health agencies, Health Information Exchanges
- Creating partnerships with groups dedicated to improving outcomes
- Identifying best practices to promote quality, safety, efficiency and cost effectiveness in high cost chronic conditions
- Bringing together stakeholders in the following areas
- Health IT solutions
- Data analytics research
- HIT infrastructure for accountable care organizations
- Health information Exchanges
- Promoting policy, payment reform and healthcare delivery redesign that supports use of e-health.
In 2012, after 10 years in existence, e health initiative sharpened its focus to use innovative technology to improve the costliest and deadliest chronic diseases, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. In order to accomplish this goal, ehealth initiative will utilize mobile technology, accountable care organizations, social media, care coordinators, EHRs, health information exchanges and data analytics.
Submitted by Mary O'Neill.
eHealth and Chronic Disease
Chronic disease management has been identified as one area where patient centered technologies can have a positive impact. Recent changes in Medicare regulations are challenging providers and health care delivery organizations to consider ways to prevent re admissions. In 2014, organizations may potentially lose up to 3% of their Medicare reimbursement should their patients with certain chronic diseases be require hospital readmission. Emerging patient centered technologies have a role in reducing hospital readmissions for patients living with chronic diseases.
The use of home monitoring devices has become increasingly popular over the last decade. The Veteran’s Administration, for instance, has established a Care Coordintaion/Home Telehealth (CCHT) program for aging vets living with chronic disease that has been reported to reduce costs of patient care significantly. Through the eHealth initiative, patient centered technologies have been used to improve treatment of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Examples of these technologies include:
- Monitoring CHF symptoms by recording vital signs and responding to daily questionnaires to help determine symptoms that need closer attention.
- Glucose monitoring systems that communicate results via a wireless connection, including a mobile phone app. The FDA has approved a continuous glucose monitoring device (CGM), that transmits data on glucose levels collected via a sensor placed beneath the patient’s abdominal skin. Such real-time tracking can lead to better trending of glucose levels throughout the day, and ultimately better diabetes management.
- Medication Management: One of the largest expenditures and reasons for hospitalizations in lack of compliance with medication. Automated reminders are now marketed in various products, ranging from smart phone apps to remote medication management devices. These tools link patients or caregivers to their pharmacy or provider to monitor medication compliance. There are also products that integrate technology used for tracking medication compliance directly on the medication bottle caps, such as VitalityTM Glow CapsTM. Such devices offer automatic reminders as well as automated communication to the patient’s smart phone, pharmacy (for communicating refills) or provider (for medication monitoring or compliance). The range of technologies, both available and emerging, are have been designed to offer patient preferential modes of communication delivery.
The eHealth initiative continues to engage multi disciplinary stakeholders to advance the role of technology in managing and treating chronic disease. Successful use of these and other patient centered technologies can strengthen the role of patient engagement in managing their health.
5. Dulworth, S RN, CPHRM and Liza Greenberg, L RN, MPH. AAPPO. Accountability and Value for Improved Diabetes Care Issue Brief: Patient-Centered Technology and Its Potential to Improve Diabetes Care. Louisville, KY.[online edition : http://www.aappo.org/Portals/4/Issue%20Brief-2.pdf]
6. Ho, P MD, Bryson, C MD, Rumsfeld, J MD. (2009). Medication Adherence: Its Importance in Cardiovascular Outcomes. 119: 3028-3035 .
7. Sarasohn-Kahn, J M.A., M.H.S.A. (2009, September). Participatory Health: Online and Mobile Tools Help Chronically Ill Manage Their Care. California HealthCare Foundation.
Submitted by E. Mooney