Monitored by a “nurse navigator”, the app allows patients to give and receive real-time feedback on their post-surgical outcomes without the need for an appointment or hospital visit. Photo credit: Facebook/SeamlessMD
Only months after Niagara Health announced its plan to replace all of its paper-based records and outdated electronic processes with a more modern, connected, and accessible electronic health record system, Niagara’s regional healthcare provider is reporting that its new digital platform designed to improve patient outcomes and experiences before and after certain surgeries is a hit with users.
The digital platform, named SeamlessMD, guides patients before and after undergoing hip, knee, shoulder, bowel, and particular prostate surgeries with personalized education materials, reminders, progress tracking, post-surgery symptom monitoring, and other services.
Available in both English and French on smartphones, tablets, and computers, the tool, according to Niagara Health, aims to improve recovery outcomes, all while reducing hospital stays and readmissions and emergency department visits.
The platform is monitored by a “nurse navigator”, allowing questions and concerns to be addressed at a patient’s fingertips and alleviating the need to wait for an appointment or visit the hospital.
“The goal of SeamlessMD is to ensure patients receive the most appropriate care before surgery and to monitor their recovery to optimize positive outcomes and enhance the patient experience,” Director of Patient Care, Surgical Services Jaelynne Sonke said in a statement.
“The platform monitors post-operative surgical patients by providing them with a daily health checklist and survey, and patients have a virtual link to their physician, which allows access to their caregiver when they require any additional support. We’re happy that patient feedback about the service has been very positive so far.”
Patients using SeamlessMD can self-report data related to their procedure, including any pain, how easily they can move around, and range of motion following surgery. Patients can also remotely share photos of their wounds with Niagara Health surgical care team members. Based on these reports, surgical teams provide personalized care recommendations and faster intervention, if necessary.
Since going live in March 2022, just over 1,200 patients have used the platform, with a reported 89 per cent recommending their experience to others, 85 per cent saying the program helped them feel more confident before surgery, and 79 per cent saying the program helped them feel more confident at home after surgery.
Current data suggests that patients are highly engaged in the program, with 60 per cent tracking their post-surgical symptoms and recovery on the app.
“We are excited to collaborate with Niagara Health to revolutionize how patients navigate their care journey as they continue to drive innovation forward with the delivery of digital care journeys,” CEO and co-founder of SeamlessMD Dr. Joshua Liu said.
“As one of the first providers to integrate with the Ontario trusted account, our partnership highlights our dedication to supporting healthcare organizations as they strive to deliver convenient, efficient, and effective digital healthcare.”
Qualifying Niagara residents who are interested can sign up for an Ontario trusted account and access SeamlessMD through the Niagara Health Navigator mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play once they have enrolled in the Surgical Transitions program.
Niagara Health has plans to integrate SeamlessMD with its new Oracle Cerner electronic health record system, which is set to launch in fall 2024.