Patient Engagement and Education Helps Reduce Readmission from Chronic Conditions

It seems self-explanatory–if the patient knows more about their condition and treatment, they’ll know how to better take care of themselves and reduce return visits. Seems pretty simple, right? Just hand the patient a pamphlet and go about your business.

While it may not be quite that simple, there is a ray of hope.

Specialized Patient Education with Software

A new software program, called SmarTigr, uses multiple platforms to help people who learn in different ways (reading, visual, auditory, etc.) better understand how their chronic condition works. Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) in West Virginia has seen 22 percent reduction in readmission in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) and 30 percent readmission reduction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) since implementing this kind of patient education program.

The application uses interactive videos, mobile apps, smart TV’s and other software to help educate patients on their specific conditions, and not just general health like some software does. This way patients gain more knowledge in a way that they can understand fully instead of just pretending to read a pamphlet and putting it in the junk drawer for “future reference” (we’ve all done it).

Including the families of the patient is also crucial in helping to reduce readmission, having them participate in the education of the patient will help create more knowledge and support for the patient and the more of those two things they have, the less likely they are to be readmitted.

What Did We Learn From It? Patient Personalization

From a patient perspective, having a personalized education program feels much more pleasant then just paper and quick conversation. Yes, conversations are still very important, but coupling face-to-face time with this new form of engagement and education really makes a patient feel as if they are getting the 5-star treatment and know that their doctors really care about their well-being.

All in all, introducing this new form of engagement and education can vastly improve your relationship with your patient and also help keep them healthier and if they do have to get readmitted, they will know that they are well taken care of.

This post was written by Mike Schwartz, a technical writer with Novarad.

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