Innovation Improving Healthcare

Introduction

The search for clinical practice guidelines on the website of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) revealed such innovation as Practice Enhancement Assistants Improve Quality of Care in Primary Care Practices. It introduces the position of practice enhancement assistants and identifies their role in health promotion (“Practice enhancement assistants,” 2018). In particular, they are expected to provide feedback, provide staff training, support systems’ development, and perform other related activities. It should be emphasized that practice enhancement assistants strive to improve care delivery through encouraging health care professionals to participate in research. The described innovation proved to be effective in diabetes management and preventive efforts.

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The selected innovation is useful in addressing several health care delivery problems such as a lack of time, necessity of customized support, and improper communication and documentation. One may, for example, note that care providers often lack time to reexamine their practices and consider the use of new technologies in order to achieve better patient outcomes. In this regard, practice enhancement assistants allow evaluating practices and integrating innovation in practice. Most importantly, they also contribute to adequate communication and medical records, which leads to greater attentiveness and sensitivity towards patients. The third addressed problem refers to the improved applicability of evidence-based guidelines due to an individual approach to organizations, workflow, et cetera.

The innovative activity focuses on enhancing the delivery of care through the adherence to the best evidence-based interventions and translation of research results into practical guidelines. Acting as agents of change promotion, practice enhancement assistants are expected to provide recommendations regarding one or another health issue that requires greater attention of healthcare professionals. They also may assist in implementing change and maintaining its course of development, thus ensuring continuous monitoring and the opportunity to introduce additional adjustments. To summarize, the specified innovative activity involves such areas as systems’ training and development, practice assessment, quality improvement, research training, and implementation of guidelines.

Relating the discussed innovation to the problem of diabetes in Hispanic population, it is possible to state that practice enhancement assistants seem to be rather important in training staff to provide relevant education to patients. It is likely to increase the ability to understand patients’ needs, expectations, and unique preferences (Powers et al., 2015). As a result of implementing the given innovation in practice, one may significantly improve patient awareness of their own diseases and promote self-care practices.

Response to Classmate’s Post

This post presents a well-elaborated review of software to conduct comprehensive health risk assessments in terms of Medicare. It seems that the presence of such comprehensive health examination tool is rather important for today’s healthcare. In particular, it is evident that the mentioned innovation allows assessing different health indicators and providing multiple recommendations. The focus on health promotion seems to be especially critical since the increase in patient awareness is likely to significantly enhance their health outcomes and improve care quality.

Elaborating on the idea of modern technology in healthcare, one may note the use of mobile technology (mHealth) to monitor patients’ health indicators. MHealth evidence reporting and assessment (mERA) was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) mHealth Technical Evidence Review Group (Agarwal et al., 2016). It was discovered that the identified software would help in standardizing the quality of mHealth reports and provide the foundation for further recommendations. In order to facilitate the discussion, the following question may be considered: what are the barriers health care providers may encounter in implementing comprehensive health risk assessments software and mHealth?

References

Agarwal, S., LeFevre, A. E., Lee, J., L’Engle, K., Mehl, G., Sinha, C., & Labrique, A. (2016). Guidelines for reporting of health interventions using mobile phones: Mobile health (mHealth) evidence reporting and assessment (mERA) checklist. BMJ, 352(1174), 1-10.

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Powers, M. A., Bardsley, J., Cypress, M., Duker, P., Funnell, M. M., Fischl, A. H.,… Vivian, E. (2015). Diabetes self-management education and support in type 2 diabetes: A joint position statement of the American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(8), 1323-1334.

Practice enhancement assistants improve quality of care in primary care practices. (2018). Web.

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