Digital therapeutics (DTx) create new healthcare delivery pathways that extend clinical interventions beyond the clinical setting, making healthcare services more accessible. Since they enable new relationships between healthcare providers (HCPs) and patients, no healthcare system can pass indifferently around the changing clinical ecosystem.
I can imagine digital therapies will be an indispensable element of every treatment process regardless of the stage of disease advancement. It will be a part of a standard protocol for chronic diseases management, says Ostrowicka.
With a team of experts from Banner Health, Ostrowicka is responsible for implementing the digital-oriented strategy, which is already at a very advanced stage. The first digital therapies were targeted at pregnant women and patients with some mental health conditions. Soon new therapeutic areas will follow: diabetes, hypertension, different forms of addiction, and others.
Digital Formulary Platform to Manage DTx and Streamline Care
Banner Health underwent a comprehensive organizational transformation to achieve the goal of Make Care Easy and Convenient for patients using digital health technologies. It’s based on four key pillars regarding the execution of their novel digital therapies strategy:
- Developing a roadmap for digital therapies implementation: choosing the health conditions and the patient population due to receive digital therapies.
- Selecting and applying a platform where digital therapies are accessible to HCPs. The objective was to standardize the process of prescribing DTx directly from the Electronic Health Record (EHR) system.
- Evaluating digital therapies to adjust them to patients’ needs.
- Conducting change management processes to reshape clinical workflows resulting from the introduction of digital therapies into the clinical pathways.
The focus areas have been defined around improving digital consumer access and digital physician experience.
We have built a dedicated team of dozens of experts working closely with clinicians and patients. The goal was to design and deploy innovative technologies to enable the provision of coordinated and smart healthcare for our patients, highlights Ostrowicka.
Smart digital health technology is capable of exchanging medical data and communicating with patients to help prevent, diagnose, and treat conditions.
To create a coherent ecosystem for prescribing digital therapies, Banner Health adopted the Xealth platform for releasing DTx and monitoring health data. It is integrated with the EHR system and enables the prescription of digital therapies in a unified way within the entire organization.
Digital Literacy is not a Barrier if it’s Part of the Plan
Digital therapies are part of Banner Health’s comprehensive Digital Health Engagement strategy. It aims to provide patients with a range of closely related electronic services that support communication with their system and medical staff.
Ostrowicka points out that the change management process starts with an extensive analysis of patient needs.
“We have to know and understand the patient populations our organization serves. This is the foundation of our patient education strategy, which also includes digital tools. Only educated patients and patients who understand the benefits of digital therapies – and know that they are available in our clinics and hospitals – will be those who will use these therapies after a doctor prescribes them.”