Healthcare Headlines Blog

Technologies that Connect and Inform Patients Can Improve Outcomes

By Sean R. Muldoon, MD, MPH, FCCP, Chief Medical Officer, Kindred Hospitals

Compounded by the pandemic and driven by increased consumerism, patients are more interested in their healthcare than ever before. With a growing importance placed on patient satisfaction, providers are seeking ways to engage patients and finding that this involvement can improve outcomes.

In fact, patients with a lower Patient Activation Measure (PAM), which measures patient involvement, are more likely to experience “major medication errors, emergency department visits, and/or unplanned readmission”.1

One strategy for increasing patient engagement is to incorporate the use of technology in treatment plans.

Research supports the benefit of technologies that engage patients and family

Technologies that can help patients, families, and caregivers communicate and track progress are contributing to effective patient-centeredness. Mobile apps that allow patients and caregivers to set and track goals or access care notes can help patients visualize the next step in their recovery. 

Studies have shown that:

  • Informed, engaged patients are likely to be more confident regarding their care and rehabilitation and more likely to be satisfied with their overall experience and outcomes.2
  • Patient engagement is associated with improved self-care and recovery.3,4
  • Strong patient and family engagement in clinical care positively contributes to a favorable experience, as well as improved health outcomes and reduced costs.5

With 11% of family members living more than an hour’s distance from the patient, and with a recent pandemic that prevented even local family members from visiting in person, technologies that can bridge geographical gaps are critical to patient satisfaction and recovery.

Kindred Hospital’s Technology Strategy: RehabTracker

Kindred Hospitals specialize in the treatment of patients who require intensive care and rehabilitation in an acute hospital setting. With RehabTracker®, a new proprietary patient engagement mobile app, they are transforming the way caregivers engage with patients and their families. The HIPAA-compliant RehabTracker app ensures that the patient, clinical team and family both near and far are informed on progress and can recognize rehabilitation milestones. RehabTracker is built with unique functionality to serve patients of all levels of conditions, including the needs of medically complex and critically ill patients.


Restorative Tracking

One key component in rehabilitation is mobility, the most common measure of which is walking distance. However, mobility means much more in an LTACH setting and includes movements such as rolling to one side of the bed or sitting up. For critically ill patients, clinicians use RehabTracker during sessions to monitor progress in areas such as range of motion exercises and time spent sitting at the edge of the bed. While these are seemingly minimal actions, our clinicians explain these critical accomplishments to patients during sessions using visuals in RehabTracker, which are also available to friends and family so they can follow along regardless of their location or time of day. Patients in restorative therapy have a particular need for this encouragement and motivation which can contribute to speed of their recovery

Respiratory Therapy

Clinicians can also use Kindred’s RehabTracker to connect patients and families on respiratory therapy, which can be one of the more intimidating aspects of rehabilitation. Respiratory failure and respiratory conditions requiring ventilator support are among the top DRGs of patients admitted to LTACHs.7 Kindred Hospitals, with disease-specific certifications in Respiratory Failure from The Joint Commission, and with their Move Early Mobility Program, specialize in treating and rehabilitating these patients, especially those needing ventilator liberation. Patient progress in unassisted breathing, and oxygen intake and saturation, are important aspects of respiratory therapy that can be monitored by clinicians in the RehabTracker app. With so many patients admitting to LTACHs with pulmonary conditions, Kindred’s app ensures that patients and families can connect on this critical component of their recovery.

If you have a post-COVID or other patient in need of continued acute care, call a Kindred Clinical Liaison for a patient assessment. Our experts will help you determine whether an LTACH stay is appropriate for your patient. If you are unsure of who your Kindred representative is, please feel free to contact us via and speak with a Registered Nurse who can assist.


By Sean R. Muldoon, MD, MPH, FCCP, Chief Medical Officer, Kindred Hospitals