Out of 1,080 patients undergoing a TJA procedure, 92.2% reported that using Force Therapeutics’ MSK patient education tool, Virtual Joint Class, prepared them well for their procedure.
Within the space of musculoskeletal practice, it is not a new concept that a major player in a procedure’s success directly correlates to the care and physical therapy that happens outside the walls of the medical office, pre- and post-op.
Organizations that enable remote patient monitoring for providers and care teams and provide musculoskeletal patient education before and after surgery will undoubtedly experience improved outcomes, higher engagement rates, and higher patient satisfaction rates.
What is MSK patient education, and why is it important?
Stimulating patients throughout their episode of care with thoughtful education at strategic points within their care journey is proven to lead to better compliance on outcome forms. In fact, our studies conclude that patients who have participated in educational modules, known as Joint Class, tend to score higher on outcome forms related to mental health.
In addition to improving outcomes, MSK patient education has the ability to lower medical costs and reduce overall recovery time. Both pre- and postoperative patient education programs give patients the information they need to take an active role in their own recovery journeys.
How does Force promote patient education?
Intelligent Care Plan
Force Therapeutics’ Intelligent Care PlanTM (ICP) is an education model that allows for efficient and personalized remote patient care for a large and diverse patient population. The Intelligent Care Plan is our solution for large organizations to scale high quality, standardized education, exercises, and communications without hiring additional people. ICP ensures elevated levels of patient engagement throughout an episode of care with dynamic, personalized, convenient, care plans that keep patients connected with their providers.
With ICP, patients are able to receive care instructions, educational content and exercises on an individualized basis that caters directly to their care journey and recovery goals, which optimizes patient engagement leading to better outcomes and shorter recovery times.
Virtual Joint Class
For patient-facing clinicians, the Virtual Joint Class improves patient preparedness for surgery by providing virtual access to easily-digestible pre-op information. On digital patient engagement platforms, like Force Therapeutics, improved patient education leads to better compliance on outcome forms.
An increase in published research proving that a well-prepared patient before surgery is more likely to have a better functional outcome, positive experience, and shorter hospital length of stay further validates the importance of postoperative patient education. Virtual Joint Class is an efficient means of preparing patients before surgery by offering digitized educational content and tasks helping care teams extend their reach.
Importance of Preoperative Musculoskeletal Patient Education
Force Therapeutics has taken the concept of musculoskeletal pain patient education a step further by arming organizations with the power to offer virtual patient education.
The ultimate goal of virtual preoperative education is to:
- Provide patients with key information specific to their procedure, regardless of their geographic location, and,
- Give valuable hours back to FTEs — i.e., case navigators, nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists, social workers, etc.
In the study, Virtual Preoperative Education for Total Joint Replacement: Equivalent Outcomes & Lower Costs, we establish that Force’s virtual preoperative education class for joint replacement delivers equivalent outcomes (functional outcomes and patient satisfaction). We highlight the potential cost savings from switching from in-person to virtual preoperative education by looking at one of Force’s client hospital systems as an example.
Patient Education Examples:
There are a multitude of touch points with the patient that need to happen pre- and post-op, in order to fully empower individuals to take their recovery into their own hands. Now more than ever, digital engagement tools are the most effective tool to implement the necessary patient touchpoints for an active, and successful recovery.
1. Setting Expectations During the Pre-Op Phase
Setting expectations on the forefront is the best way to prove the value of a digital platform from the moment they log in.
The onboarding process stage is when the provider and care team should set the expectations for the patient’s recover journey. Force’s platform gives of preview of how to navigate setting up their long-term goals and how to navigate the prescribed tasks.
One of the biggest historical challenges we have overcome for patient engagement is ease of use. Our onboarding interface increases patient confidence in using the platform and encourages repeat engagement.
2. Patient Goals
Patients will also set personal goals during the onboarding experience. This is during the preoperative phase. Once the surgery is complete, patients will regularly update their progress towards their long-term goal throughout their entire episode.
Goals enable accountability and motivation for the patient, and give the care team a look into how the patient is doing, and whether they are progressing or regressing. Goals teach patients that they are working towards something long-term, and by staying on track with their prescribed tasks and education, they can achieve them.
Contrarily, providers have transparent visibility into the patient’s recovery status. As we know, recovery is never a straight line, so providers must have access to real-time intel to address concerns and modify care instructions for regressing patients as necessary.
Here are a few examples of goals that patients can choose from:
- Walk without assistive devices
- Return to work
- Live independently
- Return to hobbies
- Return to exercise routines
- Reduce pain when walking, sitting, or sleeping
Tasks help patients to stay the course of the goals they have for themselves. During onboarding, it is important to collect any and all relevant factors that should be factored into a unique episode of care, because our AI capabilities allow Force to deliver educational content in an engaging way, that is also timely for appropriate stages with the recovery process.
The Value of Gamification
In the last several years, gamification has been deemed extremely important for patient engagement and overall satisfaction. Gamification essentially adds a “fun factor” to encourage participation and engagement, by making mundane tasks such as form fills and task completions feel like a true accomplishment.
Here are a few examples of gamification:
- Inspirational messages i.e. “Cheers to you for achieving your goal!”
- Colorful confetti for completed tasks
- Steaks for logging in on a weekly basis to encourage continuous engagement
This article by Harvard Business Review explains that by combining behavioral economics and “gamification” — putting game elements such as points and achievement levels into non-game contexts — holds promise for driving behavior change when a doctor’s advice, and patient’s good intentions, are not enough.
The more patients enter their progress updates, the more likely they are to achieve it, which ultimately leads to the highest level of patient satisfaction. It’s amazing to see how a bit of encouragement can positively impact a patient’s recovery.
Interested in learning more about our musculoskeletal patient education capabilities for your organization? Schedule a demo with us!