Technology is transforming the way we connect and engage with patients. As patients leave your program, smartphone apps are a critical part of a holistic engagement strategy. Programs who are evaluating vendors to help with these types of initiatives should be mindful about the ownership of the data. There are two main areas that you should look into: ownership of user data and displaying any type of ads or offers.
Your patients trust you with their lives and they also trust you with their privacy. Some vendors see an opportunity to monetize user data by selling the names and contact details of your patients. To guard against these types of privacy violations, first look at the contract. Is there language in the agreement that limits how the vendor may use the data and information? Also it’s important to understand the business model. Vendors may have a low license fee and then generate additional revenue by selling user data. Knowing how the vendor makes money, will help you determine if there are any potential risks.
Some vendors have a business model that centers around building a large group of people in recovery and then offering sober living, therapists, outpatient and other recovery related services. This usually is done through various display ads and prompts, which will then connect your patients with other programs. Unfortunately, you won’t have control over what services or programs your patients are interacting with. This could potentially lead to your patients engaging with programs that don’t meet your high standards of care. You always want to have complete control over all communication and information that is being shared with your alumni.
The benefit of digitally based post-discharge support services is very compelling to treatment programs. It can allow you to stay connected and engaged with patients and families post-discharge, while collecting outcomes data, driving referrals and improving the quality of care. However, these advances in care and technology will also uncover questions related to ownership and use of the data. Make sure you are asking the right questions and talk to other customers to get their insight into how data is being used.
CaredFor provides an engagement app to 75+ programs across the country. Feel free to contact our team to learn how we can help collect outcomes data, drive referrals and enhance the overall patient experience.