Helping Patients Not Crazy About Technology

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media , February 13, 2012
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This article appears in the February 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Meridian Health in Red Bank, NJ, sought to develop a technology system for patients who weren't crazy about technology.  Or as the hospital officials put it, "technologically adverse" patients.

The six-hospital, 1,700-bed health system is working to apply emerging technology in the clinical and the home settings, targeting older patients who are often reluctant to engage in technology advances.

Specifically, the hospital uses a system that includes a device the size of a credit card that patients
use to store electronic home healthcare journals and health screening devices, says Susan
Elliott, head of the consumer technology and service development for Meridian.

Patients are able to access a variety of records, such as glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, as well as track their sleep and wellness issues. The devices transmit wirelessly via a reader to mobile device applications. The data then can be held securely with personal health records for patients and family
members, and is accessible by clinical staff.

The program is important for elderly patients "because our technology is less overwhelming for the aging population," Elliott says, "and this is a way for their pain, for example, to be managed."

The new procedure is important as organizations work toward developing medical homes or accountable care organizations.

"A successful medical home or ACO is not just about one device or an information management platform," says Elliott. "It is about integration of these tools in new ways that can transform how health and wellness services are coordinated between patient and healthcare

This article appears in the February 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.

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