2017 Year in Review 

In the ever-evolving and fast-paced world of healthcare, there was a lot to keep up with in 2017. We saw multiple failed efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, as well as continued mega-mergers across the industry. We also witnessed increasing recognition of digital health platforms as proven tools to support high quality care at lower costs.

We’re taking a look back on the milestones we accomplished over the past year with GetWell Loop and across the patient engagement space and what we hope to achieve in 2018.  

A year of clinical validation

Several studies were published last year demonstrating that automated patient engagement platforms are linked to improvements in cost and quality, and also fill an important follow-up gap that exists in post-discharge care.

A study by Anthem, Inc., found that patients who underwent total joint replacement, and who were enrolled on HealthLoop (now GetWell Loop), cost an average of $656 less per case, experienced a 54% relative reduction in 90-day surgical complications, and a 45% relative reduction in 90-day hospital readmissions. The study was carried out at 10 orthopedic surgical practices in California and Nevada using claims data on adult patients undergoing hip and knee replacement.

University of California San Francisco researchers also studied the impact of HealthLoop on 30-day readmission rates after total joint replacement procedures performed over a one-year period. The study found that patients enrolled on the platform had a 1.4% readmission rate compared to a 4.5% readmission rate for patients not on the platform. HealthLoop was also very well received by patients, with a nearly 90% adoption rate, even among an older population.

A study out of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center asked 2,226 patients undergoing diagnostic imaging a variety of questions to determine their knowledge and understanding of ionizing radiation treatment. Education information about diagnostic imaging was provided to three groups of patients: one group received the information using HealthLoop’s digital patient engagement platform, another used paper-based print materials, and the third received no specialized education. Researchers found that 66% of patients using HealthLoop correctly identified what ionizing radiation was, while only 21% of patients who had received printed materials did. Patients in the digital patient engagement platform group were also significantly less concerned about undergoing these imaging examinations compared to patients who had received the same information in print form. These finding are significant because, as the use of diagnostic imaging increases, patient health literacy is becoming more important to drive shared decision-making.

Finally, BTG International released the results of a study evaluating the effectiveness of HealthLoop to educate, engage and measure health-related quality of life in 41 carcinoma patients undergoing treatment with the company’s transarterial radioembolization therapy. The study demonstrated sustained quality of life at regular intervals through 90 days following treatment. 71% of patients in the study completed and submitted responses to patient-reported outcomes survey questions.

Not just for high acuity patients

In 2017, more and more healthcare providers realized the potential of a digital patient engagement and care coordination platform to improve outcomes and lower costs. They’re also learning that the benefits of daily engagement extend beyond high acuity patients to those undergoing a diverse range of medical and surgical procedures. 

GetWell Loop has added several new customers in recent months to its growing base. Lafayette General Health, Valley Health, Mercy Health, North Bay Healthcare, Steward Health, and naviHealth are among the latest health systems and hospitals to partner with us to empower patients to improve healthcare. Our customers are using GetWell Loop’s more than 150 care plans in orthopedics, heart, vascular, ENT, OBGYN, and other areas to achieve improvements in quality metrics, patient satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Systems are moving beyond pilots

Many hospitals, health systems and physician groups decide to test new digital tools with one clinical department or group of physicians before rolling it more broadly. We’ve seen many of our customers this year scale the solution across their organization as they see how it helps them reach their patient engagement goals – whether it is achieving better outcomes, reaching more patients, or elevating the patient experience.

One of our customers, Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, began using GetWell Loop (formerly HealthLoop) with its total joint replacement patients to see how well it would work for patients and care teams. Patients and providers liked it and the organization’s technology team found it easy to implement. Administrators quickly saw that the solution could benefit patients across the health system and scaled the solution to broader areas.

Thoughtful planning, leadership buy-in, establishing success metrics, and measuring results were keys to Froedtert’s success in scaling GetWell Loop.

Looking ahead

2018 promises to be yet another year of change for healthcare. The transition to value-based care will continue with the goals of improving outcomes and lowering costs. At the same time, the influence of consumerism will continue to drive patient engagement strategies. Patients are increasingly saying they want to engage regularly with their care providers and get the information they want when they want it.

This coming year, we look forward to elevating the health and wellbeing of even more patients. We’re excited to scale our work and expand our reach to help more organizations deliver better care at lower costs. We look forward to deepening our partnerships with current customers and forging relationships with new ones. 

We wish you and your loved ones health and happiness in the New Year.