United Hospital Fund is working with Mount Sinai St Luke’s to develop a prototype for a new digital resource, How’s My Health Dashboard, that would help patients and health care providers work together to achieve health goals that are important to patients. Supported by a generous grant from the New York State Health Foundation, the 18-month project draws upon the perspectives, expertise, and leadership of patient participants. 

Putting Patients and Providers on the Same Page

Shared information is at the heart of any partnership that aims to successfully support patients living with chronic conditions. But there is currently no user-friendly way for patients and health care professionals to keep each other informed about health goals, progress, and problems facing patients juggling life and health challenges. Most health care professionals use existing internal dashboards to track patient progress and make clinical decisions based on vital signs and laboratory and imaging reports. Typically, that information is meant for the health care professionals and is not shared with the patient. 

At the same time, some patients use tracking tools like Fitbit or Livongo to monitor their own health and wellness, including blood pressure and blood sugar levels, daily food intake, and activity and exercise. This information is not necessarily shared with health care professionals. As a result, patients and their health care teams often find it very difficult, if not impossible, to be on the same page. The “dashboard” project aims to address this problem.

A Patient-Centered Digital Prototype

United Hospital Fund’s Quality Institute and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s will develop—and assess the feasibility of implementing—a novel approach to support better communication between patients and their providers. Patients will be asked to share their perspectives on the health concerns that most often lead them to reach out to their providers for advice and to reflect on their past experiences when such concerns came up. This will hopefully spur discussion about what information would be most important for patients to share with their providers to effectively resolve major health concerns, as well as how and when this information should be shared. The team will then develop a digital prototype, How’s My Health Dashboard, a communication tool to support patients as they partner with their health care providers to identify, track, communicate, and resolve the health care issues that matter most to them.  

Consider this hypothetical example of how the dashboard would work: 

Joe was prescribed a new medication by Dr. Jill. Dr. Jill informs Joe about possible side effects and wants to check in a few days after this visit to see how Joe’s doing and assess his response to the medication and any other concerns. Right now, this type of follow-up is very ad hoc and inconsistent. The idea behind the How’s My Health Dashboard Project is that, given Joe’s new treatment, his health care team would plan to communicate with him in a set timeframe, sending an electronic message and a few questions about how he is managing with the new medication. Joe would then respond via the dashboard, and both he and his team would be on the same page and in a position to address any problems.

Co-creation of Health

The project will use patient-centered co-design methods to involve primary care providers from a large urban health system at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s. Selected patients with diabetes will be invited to participate, alongside clinical staff, in a multidisciplinary project team and a co-design workgroup to identify the content, design, and communication guidelines.  

Contact: Anne-Marie Audet