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“Patient Engagement” is one of the health (and often tech) industries hottest buzzwords of 2015, yet no one seems to have locked down exactly what constitutes true patient engagement.

Quality care

Organizations know that patients need to be empowered; they know that clinicians need to improve the quality of care that they deliver, yet they are lost as to exactly what that entails, and are then in danger of using “patient engagement” as a ubiquitous term to ‘prove’ they deliver quality care.

A recent press release from newswise.com details how the University of Pittsburgh Medicine Center (UPMC) has developed a six-step program ‘designed to break down organizational silos and barriers to achieve ideal patient care experiences.’

The program involves shadowing patients through all of their different care events. This includes having clinicians meet the patient as they arrive in the parking garage, recognizing that a care experience transcends walls and offices and that to really understand what the patient is going through, clinicians must identify and establish connections with the care recipient at all points of their care experience.

The thing about this program isn’t that it isn’t patient-centered care; it’s that it isn’t realistic for long-term engagement – nor is it scalable to other, less-specialized clinical settings. Staffing, budget, and total literal size of the location are all barriers to this type of patient engagement strategy.

“Through shadowing, we gain an enlightened perspective that reveals the entire health care experience rather than just the process. Shadowing leads to empathy, which leads to insight, and provides an emotional connection not possible by analyzing data,” says Pamela Greenhouse, MBA, Executive Director.

Quality care 2

It’s an accurate statement until the last part, ‘not possible by analyzing data.’ Capturing data at the point-of-care and analyzing it through EHR systems or a secure cloud portal has proven to demonstrate measurable outcomes, improved quality care, and best of all, a true patient-centered experience. Data tracking is a cost efficient means of checking compliance and adjusting care plans that need improving.

The benefits of using technology to capture this data is that it records information constantly and consistently – not just from the parking garage to the waiting room and back again. Home, work, clinical visits, ER visits, family time; it is always available. Furthermore, information from multiple patients can be viewed and analyzed remotely by a single clinician or care provider. This would not be possible with the shadowing system, given that it is a one-on-one setting and then data is later analyzed by a separate person.

The UPMC is on to something special and has been a leader in quality care for close to two decades – we hugely respect their commitment to innovation in patient engagement. We encourage more organizations to take their own patient engagement and quality of care to the next level, but for most, technology is a more viable and appropriate means of doing so.

This week we’d like to highlight one of our technology partner’s: Microsoft.

If you haven’t heard of the Accessibility Developer Hub they’ve created, follow the link and check it out. The idea is that app developers can use their library of videos and ebooks and coding examples to learn how to make their apps more accessible for the over 1 billion people on earth estimated to have a disability.

 Microsofts Acessibility

 

Some of the obvious examples highlight a change in contrast or a magnifying option to help individuals read in-app text, but there are a plethora of options available to a curious (and courteous!) mind.

If you’re developing an app, are you considering making it friendly to individuals with a disability? You should be.

Aside from the many moral and ethical reasons that you should be striving to be inclusive, there are business reasons as well – such as a hugely untapped market of people whose needs are not being catered to currently.

 

Microsofts Acessibility 2 

We’ve developed all of our solutions to be user friendly, regardless of language, learning, or other barriers an individual might have.

Still not convinced putting in the time to make your app more accessible is worth it? Well, head to the Accessibility Developer Hub and see for yourself how easy it is and maybe your mind will be changed.

The Accelerator Centre® (AC), an award-winning centre for the cultivation of technology entrepreneurship located in Waterloo, Ontario, announced today the graduation of two more tech start-ups from its rigorous incubation program. Mozzaz and Plum become the AC’s 44th and 45th graduates, joining a celebrated list of highly successful AC graduate companies including, Axonify, Clearpath Robotics, Intellijoint Surgical, Kik, Miovision, Top Hat Monocle and more.

The founders of health tech start-up Mozzaz, Rini Singh and Sammy Wahab each have a deep and personal motivation to bring modern technology to people with chronic illness and/or developmental disabilities. The company’s vision is to provide affordable, mobile and Cloud-enabled solutions to assist individuals with complex healthcare needs, while providing better connectivity and collaboration to the care teams who support that person. The company offers a personalized care app, called TalkingTiles; a coordinated care solution called MozzazCare, and a clinical management solution called Mozzaz CarePRO.

Frustrated by their own hiring experiences, Plum’s founders Caitlin and Neil MacGregor and Christine Bird were inspired to create Plum, a revolutionary new hiring solution. Plum’s cloud-based hiring solution identifies job applicants with the highest potential and matches them to a company’s culture and position using the science of psychology. Plum assesses each applicant’s problem solving ability and attitude before a resume is read, allowing employers to find hidden gem candidates and predict their future performance on the job even before they are hired.

“Health and HR tech are two of the hottest and fastest growing segments within the start-up landscape and we are happy to be graduating innovative high potential companies in these markets,” says Paul Salvini, CEO of the Accelerator Centre.

Congratulations Graduates!

-Ellyn Winters, Source

 

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Every April 2nd, Autism Speaks celebrates Light It Up Blue along with the international autism community, in commemoration of the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day. Click Here to register today and shine a light on autism!

No Ones at Fault and Were All to Blame 1

No one’s at fault and we’re all to blame – my initial reaction to a story about a 9-year-old boy with autism being handcuffed and removed from his Ottawa, Canada school following a temper tantrum.

The parents are currently filing complaints with the school board and the police, and are also considering taking their son, Daniel, to a different school.

What Should Have Happened?

The school staff are trained in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI), a method of identifying and dealing with escalating behaviours typically seen in children and adults with special needs. This child was clearly at the last stage, which dictates you isolate and do not engage because the individual is over-stimulated and not in a position to be reasoned with logically.

As a care provider for people with special needs for over eight years, I can attest that these behaviours are not abnormal. At some homes I’ve worked in you could see this type of behavioural outburst 2-3 times before breakfast is served.

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A Divided Readership

If you read the comments below the multitude of articles covering this story, you’ll see some people on the (rightfully so) side of the angry parents, and others defending the police officer for using handcuffs. The thing is, both sides are completely right, but that’s not the point.

You see, if the boy had been left alone to cool off, which individuals almost always do, the situation would’ve resolved itself. However, when the police officer entered the fray, she inadvertently over-stimulated an already overly-stimulated person. Inevitably, she had to use the tools at her disposal (handcuffs) to respond to a potential threat – that is typical police stuff and she should not be crucified for doing her job… It’s just that she didn’t need to be doing her job in this instance.

Nobody Wins Unless Everybody Wins

Now, we’re left with a police force facing negative publicity (because that doesn’t happen enough), parents who are angry about the treatment of their child, and, most importantly, a child who is emotionally scarred and will likely never trust anyone in uniform again.

No Ones at Fault and Were All to Blame 3

So who’s to blame?

Well, we are, or at least, Canadian society is. We are massively lacking in the tools and resources to adequately understand and support individuals with special needs and it is causing situations like these on a frequent basis.

We’re putting ordinary people in extraordinary situations and expecting them to react perfectly each and every time – it’s not going to happen.

No one’s at fault and we’re all to blame.

We do a lot of monitoring of and writing in the healthcare and patient empowerment space here on the Mozzaz blog; so, when we came across an article detailing how customer service in 2015 is going to be the best year for consumers, ever, we couldn’t ignore it.

The article, which details five ways customer service is set to ‘explode’ in 2015, talks about how customers are no longer going to wait on brands to give them the information they need. Rather, people are looking for ways to rapidly acquire the information they want from their favourite brands by using channels of communication available through their smartphone.

2015 The Year of the Consumer 1

What does this mean for healthcare? Well, it’s not a stretch to imagine that people with chronic conditions are still doing everyday things like shopping – so it’s also safe to assume that these people are using their devices to seek empowerment.

If brands are ramping up to give customers the tools they need to make informed decisions then healthcare better take notice; people know what they deserve and they’re willing to go to your competitors to get it.

2015 The Year of the Consumer 2

In a recent mind-blowing slideshow produced by Sparks and Honey, all the ways healthcare is evolving were beautifully highlighted in such a way that is – and should be – read(able) by everyone.

Among the many fascinating insights into technology and healthcare’s hybridization is the fact that the cost of sequencing a human genome in 2001 was $100m USD, and today, a mere 14 years later, is $1,000 USD. This shows just how far we’ve come with modern technology.

 

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Another compelling trend highlighted is the need for individuals to be empowered. This is happening through what Sparks and Honey refers to as ‘The Mobile Hospital;’ which is when a care recipient uses technology to stay informed and to also keep the healthcare provider informed from a mobile location outside of the hospital, such as their home.

 

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With 70% of all organizations adopting consumer-facing mobile apps, wearables, and remote health monitoring tech, the time to take control of your own health is now.

 

Reinventing Healthcare 3

 

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and is enabling patients to be empowered like never before. We’re excited to see that more organizations are starting to recognize that tech-empowered patients means a more efficient circle of care and healthcare system.

That’s exactly what we do at Mozzaz – we give everyone involved in the care circle the tools they need to be empowered.

Managing a chronic health condition is an ongoing struggle, as anyone who has one—or has a family member who suffers from one—can tell you. For too long people with complex healthcare needs have been treated on an appointment basis: you enter the room, tell your M.D. what symptoms happen to be the worst that day, and then voila! You’re fixed!

The Future of Chronic Care Management is Bright

But that’s not the reality of living with a chronic condition, is it?

The stark truth means weeks, even months, of suffering while waiting for your doctor to see you. Often, the appointment covers the surface of what you’re facing but doesn’t get into your daily struggles or challenges you face just going about your day-to-day routines.

The Future of Chronic Care Management is Bright 2

But the future is bright.

“We need to do a better job of managing everybody on a continuum, which is the reality of the way people experience their disease and conditions,” says Martin Entwhistle, director of the Druker Center for Health Innovation Systems. When things aren’t working, he’s the person who figures out why, and then actively pushes to improve existing conditions for healthcare professionals and care recipients.

In a recent interview, he talks about using modern mobile technology to create a lifestyle solution for managing chronic healthcare conditions. Instead of touching base with your physician on an appointment-by-appointment basis, you can now track your everyday happenings.

“Our original focus was more on disease management, with the recognition that we needed to help individuals drive toward better goals and outcomes, but at the same time manage a wider population that may have chronic diseases like hypertension or diabetes,” he continues discussing why clinicians originally pushed for data collection on patients.

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We think he is right on the money: people’s lives exist on a continuum, not inside the constraints of a 20 minute physician’s appointment. So why not treat the condition in a way that reflects the individual’s lifestyle?

Luckily, thanks to new legislation, and people like Martin Entwhistle, the path forward is clearly curving towards healthcare on a continuum—not a 20 minute box.