Pilot Testing a Web-Based Mobile App Designed to Increase Communication and Care Coordination Among Patients, Physicians and Pharmacists




Clark, Rachel
White, Annesha
Liu, Jin
Vo, Tram


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OBJECTIVES- The fragmented healthcare system in the United States results in failures of care coordination estimated to cost the healthcare system between $27.2 billion to $78.2 billion. Improving communication between providers, pharmacists, and patients is an area with potential to reduce medication errors. Current fax and phone-based communication between pharmacists and physicians is insufficient to address patient concerns. The objective of this pilot project was to test the feasibility and categorize the desired features of a mHealth web-based platform. METHODS- Market research was conducted to identify the available mobile applications focused on patient engagement with physicians and pharmacists. Once the functional web-based application was developed, feasibility and desirability was tested by the assessment of feedback received from early users (patients, physicians and pharmacists). After contact was established and eligibility confirmed, participants were interviewed to collect baseline information about facilitators and barriers in their process of communication. Once the interviews were complete, responses were content analyzed. RESULTS- A total of 10 patients, 9 pharmacists, and 12 physicians (N=31) provided positive feedback on the feasibility and desirable features of the app as evidenced by high rates of interest (all respondents shared that they would use the app if available) and low participant burden. Feedback on desirability was categorized as features that include: (1) Telemedicine/communication, (2) E-prescriptions, (3) Prescription discounts, and (4) Patient EHR portals. Based on the stakeholder interviews, there was interest in integrating a platform spanning across health systems to promote more efficient communication and reduce the barriers to patient-initiated collaboration between physicians and pharmacists. CONCLUSION- There is a need to consolidate health information to improve healthcare outcomes. A web-based communication platform would serve to reduce medical errors caused by a lack of care coordination between physicians, pharmacists, and patients. The application will empower patients and include pharmacists in digital collaboration for patient care.