Will we look back on this period as the tipping point for digital patient engagement solutions that make it easy to educate, monitor, and assist patients through the healthcare labyrinth safely and efficiently?

When health systems consider the adoption of new technology, evaluation criteria usually include the impact on quality of care, the ability to reduce costs, and the relative return-on-investment.   However, nearly all healthcare technology investments begin by recognizing there are significant challenges that enabling technologies can help solve.

So is the case in the wake of our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Amid the dozens of challenges large and small, the ability to manage patients safely in their homes and the need to scale clinician support for the growing numbers of patients emerged as big problems.

The pandemic became a compelling event prompting innovation and adaptation. The federal government added momentum in March by expanding Medicare telehealth coverage, and loosening HIPAA requirements for telehealth engagement.  The “new normal” prompted people of all demographics to try new technologies. In the past two months, how many people have engaged in their first telehealth appointment, or digitally ordered dinner and had it delivered? 

In this environment, health systems across the country have demonstrated that digital patient engagement utilizing secured, asynchronous communications powered by patient care workflows could quickly improve outcomes, reduce costs, and demonstrate healthy return-on-investment ratios. Prompted by necessity, health systems quickly adopted workflow-driven digital patient communications, and shared their success with other health systems. In his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell stated: “Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do”.[1]  

Recently, tech maven Mary Meeker renowned for her annual Internet Trends said in a coronavirus report, “This may become the “call to arms” to better marry technology with healthcare, in terms of everything from telehealth to rapid point-of-care diagnostics, to applying automation and AI to health care services.” [2]  Will we look back on this period as the tipping point for digital patient engagement solutions that make it easy to educate, monitor, and assist patients through the healthcare labyrinth safely and efficiently?

What about going forward? Getting back to business as usual may be as challenging as addressing the pandemic itself. Digital patient communication solutions with smart workflows can provide support for re-engaging thousands of patients in elective procedures interrupted by the pandemic.  The speed and flexibility of new workflow implementations is proving the solutions can adapt to the rapidly changing healthcare system.  We invite you to watch this blog in the coming weeks for examples and case studies that demonstrate the ease of use for clinicians and patients alike,  and functionality that offers compelling return-on-investment data.

“We will soon know if the fast-break attack of the virus can be countered by the global fast-break attack of the experts (and new thinkers) with their data, technology, machines and passion,” Meeker said, adding “We like the odds of the counterattack though the clock is ticking.” [3] We at Twistle like the odds, too, and look forward to working with “new thinkers” to meet the challenge and beat the clock!

To learn more about how Twistle can help you amplify your staff addressing COVID-19, visit us at: twistlecovid19.com or download the case study Lessons from Behind the Frontline: Rapid Deployment of Tele-home Monitoring of COVID-19 Patients 

To get help re-engaging with your patients once the pandemic has lessened in severity, contact us at info@twistle.com.   

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1. Gladwell, Malcolm (2000). The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Little Brown.
2,3. https://www.axios.com/mary-meeker-coronavirus-trends-report-0690fc96-294f-47e6-9c57-573f829a6d7c.html

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