TV-based patient education improves engagement, quality of care

May 26, 2011

Integrated television-based technology can help hospitals meet the patient-centeredness requirements of federal reform initiatives, stated a recent white paper released by LodgeNet Healthcare, a provider of media and connectivity solutions for hospitals.

Integrated television-based technology can help hospitals meet the patient-centeredness requirements of federal reform initiatives, stated a recent white paper released by LodgeNet Healthcare, a provider of media and connectivity solutions for hospitals.

The white paper, titled “Patient and Family Engagement: Using Patient-Facing Technologies to Improve the Quality of Patient Care,” suggested that to address quality improvement and cost containment, a hospital adopt a patient engagement strategy that employs technology; can be implemented within the inpatient environment; extends communication across the continuum of care; is designed to reach all patients, including the most vulnerable and traditionally underserved; and effectively educates and motivates patients to take an active role in their own care.

The paper outlined how, after a hospital stay, the hospital can reach 100% of inpatients and 90% of patients post-discharge through the combination of an interactive television-based strategy and bidirectional communication extending beyond the inpatient setting through multiple media such as smart phones, home televisions, printed materials, computer communication, and web-enabled home television.

According to the white paper, the interactive television system provides tools that can be tailored for empowering patients while they are in the hospital, enhancing patient satisfaction. It offers understandable and time-appropriate education to promote inpatient safety, reducing the risk of inpatient injury. It provides understandable condition-specific education, medication, and discharge information, improving outcomes and reducing the risk of preventable readmission. It can prepare patients for post-discharge plans by providing information and enabling them to sign up for patient portals, and it can coordinate post-care providers. The extended communication tools provide patients with accurate and customized messages to keep patients engaged in their follow-up care.

This strategy, according to the white paper, can form the foundation for cost-effective patient engagement without requiring workflow disruptions, investment in expensive new technology, addition of new staff, or significant reeducation of existing staff.

“To defeat the passivity of patients and transform the culture of care delivery, we must motivate patient interest and solicit interaction,” said Gary Kolbeck, general manager of LodgeNet Healthcare, in a published statement. “Instead of expecting patients to conform to a one-size-fits-all system, we need to provide unique programs to reach them at the right time in their care journey, at their level of health literacy, in their native language, using their cultural norms, and where they want to be reached geographically and technologically.”