The days leading up to surgery can be an overwhelming and emotionally taxing experience for patients and their families and caregivers. There are forms to complete, information to read, X-rays and blood tests and often equipment like crutches to purchase.
As part of NYGH’s multi-year Digital Health Strategy, we are offering a range of digital health services to make the care journey easier and less stressful for patients and families. One of these services is the SeamlessMD app, which gives patients the tools to take an active role in managing their care.
“I can’t be available 24/7, but the app is always available,” says Michelle Wong, Nurse Navigator at NYGH. “I have peace of mind knowing that if a patient has chest pain at 2 a.m., the app will prompt them to go to the Emergency Department.”
For patients like Annie, connecting digitally helps provide comfort and support especially when help is needed after hours or in the middle of the night.
“Without the app (which enables patients to communicate with the NYGH care team), you’re on your own looking for peer support. The app provides that support and insight,” explains Annie. Dr. Joshua Liu spent much of his time at medical school thinking about how to meaningfully improve patients’ experiences with health care services such as surgery.
“Historically, the way that we would engage patients as a provider is we give lots of paper instructions that patients will lose or forget and are generally hard to follow," says Dr. Liu, CEO and Co-founder of SeamlessMD. “Providers tell us that there's no easy way to track how a patient is doing once they've left the hospital setting.”
SeamlessMD is a company based out of Toronto that provides a leading digital platform to engage patients receiving various services including surgery, cancer care, maternity care, and chronic disease management.
NYGH is piloting this app to support patients who are scheduled for hip, knee, or colorectal surgeries and who meet specific criteria. The app provides patients with evidence-based learning resources and allows them to self-report pain and symptoms following their operation from the comfort of home.
Nurse navigators at NYGH and a dedicated team at Bayshore Healthcare electronically monitor enrolled patients to provide personalized recommendations and, if necessary, arrange a rapid intervention by the surgical care team. The goal is to support positive patient outcomes and, in the process prevent patients from having to be readmitted to the hospital or Emergency Department.
“During the pandemic, we saw the benefits of leveraging digital technologies to deliver timely, seamless and enhanced care to patients,” says Dr. Lloyd Smith, Chief of Surgery and Program Medical Co-Director at NYGH. “We are excited to partner with SeamlessMD to offer an innovative tool that will empower our patients at every step of their surgical journey and to mitigate possible issues that could result in a visit to the emergency room.”
Since NYGH’s remote patient monitoring began in March 2021, there have been more than 1,400 virtual check-ins and 990 health coaching/teaching sessions with patients. Within its first few months, the remote surgical monitoring pilot supported 200 patients.