Hospital aims to close doctor-patient gap, boost post-surgical care with app pilot

A Canadian hospital is deploying a mobile app to replace paper and pen in charting patient pain, reduce potential painkiller addiction among the chronically ill and gain the ability to track bigger patient populations in and out of the hospital setting.

Toronto General, in December, is set to launch an 18-month app pilot for its two-year-old Transitional Pain Service (TPS), according to an article at mHealth Intelligence. The Manage My Pain app was created by the hospital and York University, and is financially supported by the Ontario Centres of Excellence's AdvancingHealth program.

The platform will provide patients a daily check-in functionality to log pain management issues and medication use. The digital process will replace a 40-page paper-based questionnaire now used, and the hospital is hoping it will also boost improve interactions between patients and caregivers, according to mHealth Intelligence.

"We want to close that gap," Hance Clarke, head of the hospital's Transitional Pain Service, told mHealth Intelligence. "This is a way to target the pain trajectory of patients and more closely monitor them according to their baseline."

Other hospitals are deploying mobile tools in a variety of ways, as well. For example, a San Diego-based health system is using a mobile coaching text-messaging program to keep patients from being readmitted to the hospital and better sustain a dialogue with patients during the health system's 30-day post-discharge program.

More than half of hospitals and health systems responding to a new survey are deploying remote patient monitoring systems to achieve operational efficiencies, improve risk management and boost care quality and control costs.

Hospital leaders predict it will take six months to integrate the mHealth app platform with the TPS workflow and then will monitor its use for the next 12 months with 200 to 250 participating patients.

For more information:
- read the mHealth Intelligence article