Disease Management Program Improves Outcomes
Participants in an asthma management program at San Mateo Medical Center have not reported any hospital visits during the six months that they have been enrolled in the project, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
The project uses text messaging technology on participants' mobile phones to monitor their compliance with disease management protocols. Each day at 2 p.m., participants are prompted to answer about 20 questions, including whether they have taken their medication or experienced shortness of breath. It takes about one minute to complete the survey.
Data is evaluated to determine whether further action is needed from a health care provider, according to Jonathan Messing, who administers the program at two county clinics. Patients' clinical case managers also receive the data.
Peter Boland of San Francisco-based BeWell Mobile -- the developer of the software used in the program -- said that medical regiment compliance among program participants is about 70% to 80%, compared with 30% to 40% for most asthma patients.
The Examiner reports that the program is regarded partly as a cost-savings strategy for San Mateo Medical Center because the project helps reduce emergency department visits and increases the number of patients physicians can treat. Officials say further cost savings are possible if the program is used for other chronic conditions (Carpenter, San Francisco Examiner, 7/20).