Providers deploy mobile technology to enhance chronic care management

A Florida hospital physician group is launching an mHealth platform to enhance care and treatment for Medicare patients.

Florida Hospital Physician Group (FHPG) and Florida Hospital, both of which are part of the Adventist Health System, announced this week that they will employ a mobile chronic management platform, by Smartlink Mobile Systems, focused on helping providers meet Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' requirements for chronic care management (CCM). The tool will help the provider address those requirements, as well as allow for sharing and tracking of patient care and treatment.

Deployment hasn't come without some challenges, Arthur Polin, medical director at Florida Hospital North Pinellas, tells FierceMobileHealthcare. Polin said there are hurdles in embracing the technology and meeting the CCM requirements.

"When you read the fine print [of the CCM requirements] there are a lot of hurdles, and one that will likely be a major challenge is that a good number of physicians are not creating the written care plan for patients," he says. "That's a key aspect for making these [mHealth] systems effective.

"It defies logic that physicians are not [using mobile tools more] and it puts them backward one step," he adds.

Polin says his work with Smartlink has been beneficial for both parties. Polin is providing feedback and insight that the company can then use to drive system tweaks and enhancements. Those tweaks are making the system easier and more effective for future users, he says.

"What sometimes looks good on paper has nothing to do with the actual day-to-day operations," Polin says. "In just a few months it's proving to be very, very workable."

Obstacles and challenges in mHealth aren't unusual because the technology is still considered by many as nascent, as FierceMobileHealthcare has reported. Yet as a recent viewpoint published in Science Translational Medicine reveals the technology holds great promise to "reengineer" healthcare, write Scripps Health researchers Steven Steinhubl, M.D., Eric Muse, M.D., and Eric Topol, M.D.

In addition, a recent survey notes an increasing number of Americans, roughly two-thirds, are enthusiastic about tapping digital tools for managing personal health.

For more information:
- read the announcement

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