This is a guest blog post from one of Ambra’s partners, CaptureProof. CaptureProof allows patients to record their health trends through photos and videos and instantly and securely share them with their physician.
As the only pre & post-op orthopedic nurse in an office that saw over 40 new patients per month and did an average of 15 surgeries per week, my ears never stopped hearing the constant ring of the phone. I explained surgery instructions all day long to patients who were unfocused on the words I was saying. It was enough to make me pull my hair out! There weren’t enough hours in the day to complete my work, and I missed being at home with my family. Although EHR systems come with many benefits, I felt frustrated at times that I couldn’t take charts home and complex HIPAA regulations made remote access to the EHR difficult.
This is where CaptureProof comes in…
We began using CaptureProof for post-op arthroplasty incision management. I had the application installed on my phone and would check patient messages throughout the day just as easily as I checked my own text messages.
I integrated this into our workflow at the pre-op appointment. We installed the app on the patient’s smartphone, and I gave simple instructions.
“Stop calling me! Use the app instead, it’s just like sending a secure text message. If you have a question, text it. If you have a concern, send me a photo.”
I properly set expectations, “I will respond to the messages within an hour during the workday and within a couple of hours after the office closes. Send me a text whenever something occurs, and I promise I will get your message more quickly than if you leave me a voicemail.”
An amazing thing happened, patients were satisfied and we improved postoperative outcomes.
The routine patient concerns that I was managing all day were now addressed with a quick text message instead of a 20-minute phone call. My voicemail count went down, and my phone stopped ringing. Most importantly, patient needs were being addressed more efficiently. I was better able to manage the patients in-office rather than constantly being interrupted by telephone calls.
If a patient was concerned about the way their new knee looked, they could send me a photo instead of subjectively describing the appearance. The images clearly distinguished between the beginnings of an infection, or if it was normal healing simply needing words of reassurance. We significantly reduced the number of non-reimbursable office visits during the global period.
The doctor, when worried about patient progress with physical therapy, could send a media prescription instructing the patient to take a video of knee extension and flexion. CaptureProof analyzed the video measuring the range of motion, and we now had quantitative evidence to document in the medical record.
What if a patient needs an order for additional physical therapy or an assistive walking device? Not a problem! Send me a text. A patient needs a prescription refill or change? Again, not a problem. Send me a text! Our daily appointment schedule was no longer delayed with unplanned patient visits.
Because we were able to reduce the number of unnecessary office visits, we were able to shorten the new patient appointment wait time by over one month! More new patients = more new revenue.
I discussed patient care with the doctor, even when he was skiing in the Alps, showing him photos or videos if there were extra questions. He was able to pass on instructions, order medications and referrals, and closely monitor patients that needed extra attention. He was more easily able to travel, teach, and research without sacrificing control of patient outcomes.
Our patients, even the “Grandparent” hip and knee replacement population, loved having access to their surgical team via their cell phones. We had over 90% of operative patient participation. Even patients who didn’t have smartphones on their own had a loved one or care provider that did. The out-of-town sons and daughters were able to communicate with us, and because everything was now in writing, they were able to help reinforce instructions critical to compliance.
All said CaptureProof wasn’t the “just another thing to do” as I feared. Instead, it was the thing that made my time more productive, my patient care more personalized, and my patients happier!