Do older Americans use smartphones?

Last week I had a conversation with an executive from a health system in the northeast United States. We were discussing health reform and patient engagement when the executive said something I wasn't expecting. 

"Seniors don't use smartphones. Their fingers don't work well enough to navigate the screens."

This statement was delivered with such conviction that I found myself wondering if the world was indeed flat. Did I not just see my 72-year old parents using smartphones last weekend? Are seniors not the fastest growing age group of smartphone users?  

The ROI of Patient Engagement: Patient Loyalty

Much hospital marketing comes down to a simple goal: To attract patients that have good insurance to profitable service lines. An article covering hospital marketing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch captured this quote:

“Why do hospitals advertise? There is a noble side to it, and also a realistic side,” said Laura Keller, a spokeswoman for St. Louis University Hospital. “I don’t think it ever hurts to remind someone that there are lots of choices that you have if you’re dealing with a major health issue. We need to educate the patient, and there are good messages there. On the business side, people need to understand that without money we cannot support our mission,” she said.

If you take the the 107-mile drive from Raleigh to Winston-Salem, NC, you are likely to see billboards from many of the following health systems:

The ROI of Patient Engagement: Value-Based Purchasing

October 1, 2012 marked the beginning of the 2013 federal fiscal year and the commencement of the payment period for Value-Based Purchasing (VBP). As part of VBP, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin holding back 1% of the base DRG reimbursement paid to hospitals. Through a series of clinical process and patient satisfaction measures, hospitals will compete to "earn back" the withholding. The top performers will earn a premium over their standard reimbursement. The poor performers will see a reimbursement decrease.

Here's how patient engagement can help you profit from Value-Based Purchasing.

How to generate a 15X return on Patient Engagement

Patient Engagement is hot, but how do you measure its impact? Specifically, when a health system offers mobile engagement tools to its patient community, how should it measure the return on the investment of the launch and maintenance of the initiative? This post summarizes the return on investment (ROI) of patient engagement initiatives through three components: readmissions reduction, HCAHPS improvement and its impact on the CMS value-based purchasing program, and improved patient loyalty.

Your patients don’t understand you

There was a time when I assumed that virtually all US adults could read reasonably well. After all, the US has a literacy rate of 97%. Then I started building tools for hospitalized patients.

The Crippling Consequences of Chronic Disease: A New Hope

The number of people living with a chronic condition has grown exponentially in the past 15 years.  In fact, by 2025 almost half of the US will be managing at least one chronic condition.  The spotlight has been placed on this particular group of patients not only because of the ever-increasing number of individuals that continue to be diagnosed, but also because of the strain it continues to have on the economics of our nation's health care spending.  mHealth is helping rewrite the typical patient experience of those managing one or more chronic conditions by providing patients not only the information they need to manage their disease but also providing convenient, easy to use tools to help them.

Marketing Face Off: L.L. Bean vs. Your Local Hospital

US hospitals take in more than $500B annually, which is more than twice the amount Americans spend on clothing. What if clothing stores and their websites offered a consumer experience similar to that of hospitals? Think pricing opacity, limited information on quality, perplexing store navigation, and a sense that customer experience is a low priority. I suspect that the apparel industry would be much smaller if this were the case. We would simply make do with fewer clothes.

Case Management Doesn’t Scale Medicaid

Case Management Doesn’t Scale

Case managers, care coordinators, nutritionists, and other physician extenders have a positive impact on health outcomes. But deploying these people beyond the sickest patients is prohibitively expensive. Digital health can help. Here's how.

Axial Supports Apple Health! Hospital Mobile Apps

Axial Supports Apple Health!

Axial Exchange’s Patient Engagement Mobile Application Now Supports Apple HealthKit. Integration Provides Patients with Comprehensive View of all Health and Wellness Data in One Mobile Dashboard. 

Did Apple just Commoditize Health Tracking? Hospital Mobile Apps

Did Apple just Commoditize Health Tracking?

Apple Health provides an aggregration service for a variety of digital health tracking devices and apps. Did they just commoditize the space?

The End of the Beginning for Digital Health Patient Engagement

The End of the Beginning for Digital Health

Digital Health is now making its way down the backside of the hype cycle. Despitefive years of progress, it is struggling to meet inflated expectations. Like home internet adoption in the 1990s, some foundational pieces aren't quite at critical mass yet. As a result, there will be a few casualties. But digital health will make it through the trough of disillusionment. And It will exceed today's expectations.

Five Years In: The Evolution of Digital Health Since 2009 Hospital Mobile Apps

Five Years In: The Evolution of Digital Health Since 2009

In 2009, we started Axial Exchange with the audacious goal of using software to coordinate physician hand-offs and to engage patients in self care. Here's a quick look back on how the world has changed in the last 5 years.

Patient Engagement starts with Employee Engagement

Imagine if health system employees were so knowledgeable about your patient engagement initiatives that they become walking, talking advertisements.  In order to break through the personal health noise and get patients to engage in self-care, you must leverage your most powerful communication vehicle: your staff.

Major enhancements to Axial’s mobile engagement app

Axial Exchange, Inc., a pioneer in using mobile applications to deepen the patient’s role in improving outcomes, today announced that it has introduced a major new release of its mobile application that provides patients with a whole new way to stay well. The new application puts the world’s best health content and tools right on a patient’s smartphone or tablet. With the new app, patients have a single hub for all of their health apps and devices and are able to securely share this personal health data with their physicians. When patients have questions about their health, they can easily search through vetted health content covering thousands of health topics.

Why We Need Accountable Accountable Care—A True Story

This summer I was reminded, once again on a very personal level, why I started Axial Exchange.  Five years since company inception, I’ve learned a thing or two about Health Care, including a deep understanding of all the buzzwords -- ACOs, accountable care, narrow networks, shared savings -- you get the idea.  Notice what word isn’t in any of these industry buzzwords?  P-A-T-I-E-N-T.

Apple and Google are driving data liquidity (and that’s a good thing)

With Apple's developer conference behind us and Google's just around the corner, these are exciting times for young mobile health companies like Axial. The reason for our optimism is threefold: accelerated consumer adoption, enhanced enterprise credibility, and increased data liquidity for everyone. 

Announcing the 2014 Patient Engagement Rankings Hospital Mobile Apps

Announcing the 2014 Patient Engagement Rankings

Most hospital rankings ignore patients. Not this one.

Becker's Hospital Review worked with Axial to produce a first-ever hospital ranking based on patient engagement. It was a perfect match: we combined Beckers' trusted editorial oversight with Axial's expertise as the leading patient engagement software provider.  The Top 100 hospitals are posted at Becker's website. 

Engaging Patients with your mHealth Offering: Step One

At Axial, we help our clients deliver branded mobile applications that empower patients with health information, provider directories, and tools to track their health.  These tools offer health care providers a view into which of their patients is actively engaged in the management of their health, and the ability to include this patient-collected biometric data in the patient's record.  

What good are these capabilities if patients don’t use them?

Axial Exchange Announces New Spanish-Language Version of its Patient Engagement Application

Spanish Translation of Axial App Improves Providers Ability to Meet the Needs of a Greater Patient Population

ACOs are ushering in the “post EHR” era

EHR vendors are starting to come up for air from Meaningful Use certification and take aim at the next target: accountable care. Unlike Meaningful Use, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) change the care delivery model with a move toward chronic disease management. What does this mean for EHR vendors, which have been built from the ground up to support the old model? If Meaningful Use was challenging, many EHR vendors might find the move to accountable care models beyond their capabilities.