Provider social networking app may help improve patient outcomes

A cloud-based social networking app for healthcare providers reduced readmission rates at a home care facility from 40 percent to 11 percent, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

enTouch — a mobile app developed by Ashish Shah and David Coyle of Glenview, Il.-based startup Prepared Health — is a social media site where invited members can share and refresh status reports by patient.

During a three-month pilot of the app at a Moorestown, N.J.-based Bayada Home Health Care facility, the clinic reported a 29 percent drop in readmission rates within 30 days of discharge for heart surgery patients, according to Crain's. Following Prepared Health's departure from the facility, readmission rates returned to 40 percent.

Prepared Health came about as a way to allow caregivers to stay up-to-date on patient information within a type of social networking platform most professionals use outside of work. "These things don't seem mind-blowing, but when you do it, it's a game-changer," Bayada division director Eric Thul told Crain's.

For now the app is available to healthcare professionals only, though the company hopes to add patients' family members to the platform soon, according to Crain's.

Prepared Health is currently testing the mobile app at another Bayada health facility in Tampa, Fla.

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