A Data-Driven, Connected Approach to OSA Therapy

Posted on in Growth Strategies

PRI By Jim Doty, Philips Respironics Through advances in connected health technology, HMEs today have a significant opportunity to automate and standardize operations, enhance and better support the role of respiratory therapists (RTs), and enable patients to become more self-sufficient and true partners in their own care. Today’s obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) therapy model is a prime example of where this new way of thinking and operating can be put to work. With centralized data from EMRs, sleep labs, billing systems and payers, HMEs and RTs can eliminate or automate a number of manual tasks, reducing both time and opportunity for error and ensuring timely delivery and ongoing support of OSA patients. Most importantly, these strategies will keep the right people connected to the right information at all times to increase patients’ adherence to therapy throughout the care process. For example:

  • Real-time education and coaching: Connected health technology affords HMEs’ staff new ways to focus on the individual patients that require more in-person consultation and encourage patients to take a more active role in their care. Virtual coaches that are accessible via desktop and mobile devices can provide patients with basic information about their disorder, tips on mask fit and cleaning and insight into their therapy. RTs will have more educational tools to offer patients, which provide guidance on how best to use products on a day-to-day basis. Patient engagement and educational tools such as SleepMapper have demonstrated a 22 percent* increase in patient compliance rates, compared to those not using connected OSA technology.
  • Targeted follow up: With this connected approach in place, data drives efficient deployment of resources. Guided by risk-scoring algorithms, HMEs can identify potential, noncompliant patients for interventional management and then direct RTs and patient support staff to focus on the patients that will benefit from assistance while reducing interactions with those who have adjusted well to therapy. A recent retrospective review of Philips Respironics EncoreAnywhere data showed that such insight has the potential to help HME providers reduce follow up by an average of 60 percent, thus ensuring that the patients who need follow up visits to be compliant get the time and attention they need to be successful with their OSA therapy.
  • Fueling the resupply: Automating the outreach and resupply process is another means to support patients’ long term use by tracking patients who are eligible for new supplies and helping those patients to order their necessary supplies via phone, text, or email. An automated resupply program can be a game changer in creating more efficient operations and encouraging patients’ long term use of therapy. For staff efficiency, an effective resupply program can enable them to gain more time for in-person check-ins and activities that will help increase patient compliance levels.
Connected health technology is becoming a reality across many areas of health care and is one answer to fostering improved therapy for OSA patients in the post competitive bidding world of outcomes-driven reimbursement. Backed by data-driven algorithms that enable tailored patient care and greater rates of therapy compliance, this approach to OSA therapy provides a range of new opportunities for providers to stay virtually connected to the patient and coach them more efficiently and effectively to success. * White paper published by Philips Respironics highlighting a retrospective study showing that patients using SleepMapper achieved a PAP therapy adherence rate that was 22% higher than non-SleepMapper users.
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