Evaluating the Efficacy of Connected Healthcare: An Empirical Examination of Patient Engagement Systems and Their Impact on Readmission
45 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2019 Last revised: 8 Jul 2020
Date Written: July 7, 2020
Connected healthcare is a form of health delivery that connects patients and providers through connected health devices, allowing providers to monitor patient behavior and proactively intervene before an adverse event occurs. Unlike the costs, the benefits of connected healthcare in improving patient behavior and health outcomes are usually difficult to determine. In this study, we examine the efficacy of a connected health system that aimed to reduce readmissions through improved medication adherence. Specifically, we study 1,000 patients with heart disease who received electronic pill bottles that tracked medication adherence. Patients who were non-adherent received active social support that involved different types of feedback such as text messages and calls. By integrating data on adherence, intervention, and readmission, we aim to (1) investigate the efficacy of connected healthcare in promoting medication adherence, (2) examine the relationship between medication adherence and readmission, and (3) develop a dynamic readmission risk-scoring model that considers medication adherence and use the model to better target non-adherent patients. Our findings suggest that patients are more likely to become adherent when they or their partners receive high levels of intervention that involve personalized feedback and when the intervention is escalated quickly and consistently. We also find that long-term adherence to two crucial heart medications, statins and beta-blockers, is strongly associated with reduced readmission risk. Lastly, using counterfactual simulation, we apply the dynamic readmission risk-scoring model to our setting and find that, when using an intervention strategy that prioritizes high-risk patients, we obtain 10% fewer readmissions than we would obtain without considering readmission risk while using the same effort level from the patient support team.
Keywords: connected healthcare, health information technology, medication adherence, readmission analytics, behavioral interventions
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation