For Dutch primary care group Nijkerk, person-focused care is an important pillar in the way they deliver healthcare. Important aspects in their way of working are patient control and responsibility. Nijkerk aims to support these efforts by working with Philips Engage, a platform for care and health programs. A pilot group of patients is getting some first-hand experience with this eHealth solution.
Engage is a platform for care and health programs. It enables remote care management and cooperation in the care network. It creates an environment in which all the involved care professionals and the patient are involved in the care process, to share information, to consult, and more. “Over the past couple of years, we have seen a large shift in how the patient experiences care”, explains nurse practicioner Josine Moes MSC RN, Engage program manager. “Shared-decision making and person-focused care are gaining more attention; Engage allows us to put theory into practice. For example, it allows us to deliver remote care to a fast growing group of chronically ill patients. This has multiple benefits: patients stay in primary care without going to the hospital, and our professionals are able to deliver optimal healthcare despite a growing demand. For example, a patient fills out a survey about their disease burden before a consultation. The doctor can then more effectively examine the patient’s care needs during the consultation itself.
A careful introduction
A first group of patients is getting acquainted with Engage. “A small group, we want to introduce Engage carefully. That’s not just important for the patient, but for us as a healthcare organization as well. We have to find our way in using this new solution. A group of nurse practicioners is currently monitoring the patient experience with Engage. Patients can chat with their nurse practicioner. They can share data, for example insulin or blood pressure levels, and ask questions without any delay. And, together with their care professional, they can set goals and work towards them using an easy dashboard.
Nijkerk is even more ambitious. In the end, the entire Nijkerk patient population will use Engage. Moes: “By collecting and combining data from patient groups we can put population health management into practice. Nijkerk offers a great foundation, because all the caregivers in the region, even outside of our care group, are used to working together closely. Engage allows us to share data in a very practical way and work together more effectively.”
Nijkerk’s not entirely there yet. “Once all of the involved nurse practicioners know how to use the system, we will use Engage for the care coordination around the elderly and patients with diabetes, COPD and cardiovascular risk management”, Moes adds. “Our advantage is that Nijkerk is already a frontrunner in person-focused care. Patients are used to taking control over their own care. It goes without saying that Engage requires digital savviness to some degree from our patients. We are currently aligning with Philips on how they can best guide us in this process. It really is a shared responsibility.
This article appeared in the Dutch trade magazine ‘Eerstelijn’.
Click here for more information about Philips Engage.