AMA unveils playbook to speed digital health adoption

Sara Berg, MS , News Editor

Digital tools such as wearables that offer new ways to improve care, enable lifestyle change and create efficiencies are skyrocketing in popularity. But physician practice integration of these kinds of tools sometimes falls short.

The AMA’s Digital Health Implementation Playbook packages the key steps, best practices and resources to accelerate the adoption of these and other digital health innovations and helps physicians extend care beyond the exam room.

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The Playbook was created with the help of more than 80 physicians, care team members, health care administrators, patients and digital health thought leaders who contributed their expertise and input to help the medical community successfully adopt change.

Download the Playbook to learn more about the most efficient path for applying digital health solutions in practice.

"Implementing digital health technology has been a challenge for those without a clear course to success," said AMA Chair-elect Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD. "The AMA is committed to making technology an asset, not a burden, and the Playbook provides the medical community with widespread access to a proven path for implementing digitally enabled health and care.”

“The Playbook’s road map is based on institutional knowledge and best practices convened by the AMA from a wide array of experts in the field," he added.

Designed for care teams and administrators in medical practices of all sizes and specialty areas, the Playbook is a living document that will be updated to include new content over time.

A 12-step process guides the implementation of a variety of digital health solutions. The first six steps are fundamental to implementation, while the next six steps focus on specific digital health solutions and their unique considerations. The 12 steps covered in the Playbook are: 

  • Identifying a need.
  • Forming teams.
  • Defining success.
  • Evaluating the vendor.
  • Making the case.
  • Contracting.
  • Designing the workflow.
  • Preparing the staff.
  • Patient partnership.
  • Implementing.
  • Evaluating success.
  • Scaling.

As an example, step nine on patient partnership aims to strategically engage patients to maximize the impact of remote patient monitoring (RPM). In this step, physicians and health systems will learn to develop—or source from a vendor—a wide variety of patient-training materials to support different learning styles. This training can help patients feel more comfortable with RPM and with digital health technology in general, helping them to get the most out of it.

Physicians will also develop clear “what if” scenarios to inform how patients should respond to their readings.



What to do with wearables’ data

The Playbook offers resources for implementing remote patient monitoring using devices, trackers and sensors to capture and record patient-generated health data outside the traditional clinical environment. Through RPM, physicians can apply patient-generated health data to improve the management of chronic disease, while engaging patients in their own care.

As more connected devices and wearables are validated as accurate, reliable and effective health care tools, there is a continual need to integrate digital health and mobile health technology into medical practices to better understand and manage chronic disease outside the office environment.

“The tremendous potential of digital health will continue to grow as many exciting and innovative solutions prove the ability to create better outcomes for our patients,” said Dr. Ehrenfeld. “The Digital Health Implementation Playbook responds to a growing demand for proven guidance that physicians and care teams need to successfully integrate effective technology into practice.”

Learn more about how the AMA’s digital health leadership is ensuring the physician perspective is represented in the design, implementation and evaluation of new technologies.