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

See all articles by Suparerk (Tan) Lekwijit

Suparerk (Tan) Lekwijit

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Christian Terwiesch

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department

David A. Asch

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Kevin Volpp

University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: July 7, 2020

Abstract

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

Lekwijit, Suparerk and Terwiesch, Christian and Asch, David A. and Volpp, Kevin, Evaluating the Efficacy of Connected Healthcare: An Empirical Examination of Patient Engagement Systems and Their Impact on Readmission (July 7, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3420495 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3420495

Suparerk Lekwijit (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Christian Terwiesch

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

David A. Asch

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Kevin Volpp

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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