Going Mobile to Improve Outcomes

Since launching in May of 2012, Strong for Surgery’s implementation process has involved hands-on support from our implementation team and considerable effort by clinic staff to adapt workflow. Successful hospitals and clinics customized the program and developed best practices to suit their unique needs. These sites are continually evaluating and adapting their approach, and we’re honored by their commitment.

As the program evolves and expands, we look to technology-based solutions for simplifying the implementation process and integrating patient input. CERTAIN Hub was launched in 2014 as a web-based portal for improving patient data collection and for delivering programs aimed at improving health and healthcare. In 2015, we will begin delivering Strong for Surgery programming through this mobile platform to achieve our goals of electronically assessing patient risk factors, delivering interactive risk reports to patients and clinicians, providing educational programming, and prompting risk-reduction behaviors prior to surgery. Pilot testing of Strong for Surgery delivered through CERTAIN Hub will begin at a small number of sites already successfully participating in the traditional S4S program. 

Nutritional optimization is a great example of the potential for engaging patients in their care through this new mobile approach. Traditionally, Strong for Surgery sites screen patients for malnutrition using the nutrition checklist during their pre-op visit. Patients who are found to have poor nutritional status can be referred to a Registered Dietitian for an individualized care plan. Often this involves recommendation of a nutritional supplement patients consume in the days leading up to their surgery.

Strong for Surgery delivered through CERTAIN Hub will support and streamline this process in several ways. Patient pre-screening will begin before the patient steps foot in the exam room. The mobile platform will allow patients to complete an electronic survey, either at home or in the clinic waiting room, collecting baseline information on factors such as appetite or recent weight loss, and other important areas for assessing health status. Based on survey responses, a report will be sent to the patient and clinician summarizing the patient’s health status and modifiable risk factors. At the same time, patients will automatically receive educational resources they can use to improve their health prior to surgery.

CERTAIN Hub’s automated patient follow-up feature will help improve compliance in the care plan. If a patient is prescribed a nutrition supplement, they will be contacted in the days following their pre-op visit by text message or email. This simple series of prompts and questions will help ensure the patient has received the supplement and provide helpful reminders, like when to begin taking it.

To fully understand the impact and quality of their care, surgeons need to know the outcomes of their procedures beyond what happens the day of surgery. CERTAIN Hub will follow up with patients 30 days after a procedure to gather information about their compliance and recovery. This patient-reported outcomes data, compiled with information from the previous surveys, will be returned to the clinician in a comprehensive report. Eventually, clinicians will be able to compare their own patient data to aggregated de-identified data from all clinics participating in the program, allowing them to benchmark their outcomes, and giving them unprecedented insight into the impact of their care.

As this new Strong for Surgery initiative progresses, we look forward to continually sharing results with our stakeholders. Stay informed by reading our blog, subscribing to our newsletter, and following us on Twitter.

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