Can Mobile Help Clarify Confusion over Reforms? New Federal Laws Have "Thrown Everything Up for Question"

By Beck, Koa | CRM Magazine, June 2011 | Go to article overview

Can Mobile Help Clarify Confusion over Reforms? New Federal Laws Have "Thrown Everything Up for Question"


Beck, Koa, CRM Magazine


The biggest change in the healthcare industry is the new federal reform laws. Although healthcare reform is targeted more substantially at the insurance side of the industry, Liz Boehm, principal analyst at Forrester Research, says it will still have implications for those who provide care to patients as well. Healthcare reform has "thrown everything up for question," especially reimbursement models, quality of care, patients' rights and responsibilities, and the entire structure of the industry, she says.

"Most of these questions remain unanswered," Boehm notes, pointing to the slow-moving nature of the healthcare industry. "We have a real misalignment of incentives and fragmentation," Boehm says. "Any given patient may be seeing many different providers. They are only working with one insurer, but each of those providers is working with a few different insurers, and all of that makes for a lot of difficulty in putting in technological solutions that may benefit them."

Technological solutions, such as applications in the mobile industry aimed at better communicating with patients--whether it be in feedback or in explanation of coverage--are popping up intermittently, though.

One provider is On the Spot Systems, a mobile service provider that developed Survey On the Spot, a mobile survey application, with patient satisfaction in mind. As patients prepare to leave the Transitional Care Unit (TCU) at Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital in Boston, they are handed an iPad with a survey that takes only a few minutes to complete. Once the patient fills out the survey, the app gives TCU real-time feedback on the quality of service that was just provided to the patient.

Not only does Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital receive immediate insight into the patient's satisfaction, but also the chance to rectify any sore points right away.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"If a patient responds poorly to any of the questions, the director of nurses and I get an instant email from Survey On the Spot informing us of the poor response, and it allows us to follow up with the patient before they leave the facility and hopefully rectify the negative perception that has been created around an issue," explains Mike Baldassarre, administrator at TCU. …

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