Video education offers patients a new way to connect to physicians, participate in their own care
Patient Engagement programs are an important part of Partners HealthCare’s Population Health Management strategy
February 1, 2016
Many patients will recognize this scenario: You visit your physician. He or she tells you about a particular symptom you're experiencing or a condition that you have. The doctor even may give you a pamphlet or printout that further explains the conversation you had. You return home and within a couple of days, your recollection seems fuzzy, and you can't remember everything that you discussed. You have misplaced the handout and are worried about not knowing what next steps to take.
Partners HealthCare has rolled out a new video patient education program, called vidscrip, to ensure that the scenario just described is a thing of the past.
|Patient education video by Dr. Adam Licurse, MD, Medical Director for Patient Engagement at Brigham and Women's Physician Organization and Population Health Management at Partners HealthCare|
Providers across Partners are using vidscrip to help improve a patient’s experience, outcomes, and access to care, as well as make health care more affordable. The innovative program offer patients a series of short, single-topic videos, featuring his or her doctor, allowing a patient to reflect back on what was discussed at an appointment or to prepare for an upcoming encounter. Physicians use the tool in a variety of ways—to provide discharge instructions, to educate patients on what to expect from a procedure, and to help patients with chronic conditions manage their symptoms—in a more personal way.
"Patients really like the idea that their questions are answered by their own providers, rather than a third party online," said Adam Licurse, MD, Medical Director for Patient Engagement at Brigham and Women's Physician Organization and Population Health Management at Partners HealthCare. "Vidscrips allow patient education to happen outside traditional care settings like the doctor’s office, but still within the context of the provider-patient relationship. We believe these videos are as instructional as they are relationship building. Vidscrips allow providers to answer common questions in their own words – in this way, patients learn from their providers as they learn about their providers and care teams.“
Currently, more than 350 providers across Partners HealthCare have recorded a total of more than 400 videos. Since the program was launched in 2014, the videos have been viewed more than 18,000 times. Topics range from "What can I expect from a colonoscopy?" to "Managing Type 2 Diabetes" to "Common causes and therapies for insomnia," as well as "About Me" videos that each provider records that explains his or her background and clinical interests.
Patient Engagement at Partners PHM
Educational videos are one of many patient engagement programs within Population Health Management (PHM), a top-priority, strategic initiative for Partners HealthCare. Partners PHM is paving the way in health care by developing a robust strategy for engaging patients to improve quality of care, while also reducing costs and improving the patient experience.
"I think of patient engagement as a partnership between the clinician and the patient—as well as his or her family—to equip them to manage their care, be a part of decisions related to their care, and really take care of themselves when they are not at a visit with their clinician," said Kate Bones, Program Director of Quality and Patient Engagement for Partners Population Health Management. "At Partners PHM, we think it's important to equip providers and patients with the tools and care delivery methods that will improve patient engagement."
Staff at Partners PHM are focused on what are the drivers of good patient engagement. These include a range of strategies, such as making sure patients know all treatment options available, empowering patients to better navigate the health care system, and connecting patients to others like them, as well as to clinicians.
"We're ahead of the curve in a lot of areas," Bones said. "In the Patient Engagement area, we're trying many different programs, versus hanging our hat on one initiative. That's the nature of PHM; it's all about testing what works, and that is what makes it exciting."
Patient education videos are just one tactic for engaging patients, but so far it has been a popular one for patients and physicians. Providers have said they find that patients who view the videos retain the information better, and they better understand complex issues. It's also a time saver, saving precious minutes during a face-to-face encounter and making for a more efficient patient visit.
Partners PHM would like to more broadly expand use of vidscrip into community physician practices and even in nontraditional provider settings, such as skilled nursing facilities.
"Our goal is to get this tool into the hands of more providers and physician practices," said Licurse. "This tool is available to every provider within the Partners network, and it requires very little setup, just a phone or tablet with a camera. It's a very spreadable, scalable technology."
To learn more about vidscrip and other patient engagement tools, visit the Population Health Management section of partners.org.