Creating an Aware and Competent Patient

Three well worn, but profound aphorisms are:

  1. About 80% of good health revolves around lifestyle factors including good nutrition, regular exercise, management of stress, and community and family support with about 20% reliant on access to healthcare resources with good treatment discipline by patients.
  2. Physicians rely upon laboratory derived data and insight from personal visits to create or invoke patterns of care (protocols) the execution of which is in the hands of the patient.  Subsequent visits look for data-based improvements and anecdotal information about patient life details and general well-being.
  3. Differentiating patients by personal risk enables better focused care on those who need it most.

Between visits, little is known about the day to day habits of patients.  One of the inspirations for an app such as MotivationAssist© is a study, done in England, that suggest dramatic improvement when patients are in daily phone contact with physician staff who can explore daily activities and reinforce the importance of the varied instructions given by the doctor.  The outcome quality gain is dramatic.  Alas, the method is not scalable to care for a busy patient load.

Is it possible to improve the quality of care by staying in daily contact with the patient?  How can we accomplish this without creating a huge burden on current staff?  How do we create a little slice of life that builds mindfulness, a necessary building block for better results from sound medical protocols and better lifestyle choices?  This large step can be accomplished through the interactive use of the mobile phone application MotivationAssist© which requires under one minute per day from the patient answering 10 or so yes/no/partially questions on their phone.

The patient responses are graded and appear on a console as red/yellow/green status enabling staff to reach out to those who need it most and address the areas which the patient is finding most challenging.  Perhaps they need a bit of education, a referral to Social Workers or Psychologists, a modification of medication class or dosage, etc.  The data you need as to improvement area is at your fingertips.  A ninety-day course of self-reporting will strengthen the treatment results, lay a foundation for a more mindful lifestyle, and improve the efficiency of highly trained and educated medical staff.