Garry Carneal, JD, MA
Consultant, TCS Strategic Alliances
Traditional case management interventions often have used face-to-face, telephonic, and written communication links to support patients and others who need healthcare support. With the rise of new communication strategies that are affordable and the buzz about social media, case managers are beginning to think about expanding how they connect with their patients to improve patient engagement levels and clinical outcomes.
TCS Healthcare, through Acuity Advance Care™ (ACUITY), offers an array of options to enhance the ways that clinicians can reach out and stay in touch with their patients. Examples include letters or information packets that can be automatically queued for mailing without any manual processing, and HIPAA-compliant electronic communications, such as email and text messaging. In fact, care management software platforms like ACUITY are opening up many new doors in terms of automating workflows and coordinating patients with many co-morbidities.
As referenced in the Research Update Column, the bi-annual survey of care management trends reinforces this point as well. The survey, which was completed by 670 case managers and others, predicts increased reliance over the next two years on communication media such as email, text messaging, personal health records, smartphone applications, remote monitoring connections, and other new communication options. Interestingly, the survey results show a slight decrease in the reliance by case managers on telephone calls, letters, and face-to-face interactions in the future.1
Of course, the recent negative press that Facebook has received regarding its privacy policies -- which often are not optimized for patient protection -- is a warning that case managers must be informed communicators no matter what the medium.
The nice thing about running these enhanced communication links through a system like ACUITY is that everything is documented, allowing for easy tracking, retrieval and reporting of information. This also helps with regulatory, business and clinical compliance requirements.